Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting it left

By Jawad "JEJ" Mahmud

It's not easy being a lefty in this right dominated world. Nobody wants to be among the minority; don't you feel insecure when you are the only one wearing the red t-shirt, or the owner of the lone hand that points to the sky claiming the trick question as correct? That being said, where can the lefties mix in as they make up only the 10% of the world population? Three may be a crowd, but the problem for the southpaws is that these three are widely scattered. You have to sympathise if you are a right-hander; don't forget the trouble you have to face when trying to peek at their answer sheets. And there are many other things.

Discriminations against the left-handers:
Left has always been associated with bad and evil things. A left-handed compliment is not something you would want to hear, nor would you like to be 'left' out in better times. There are not many southpaws who have not been slapped on their hands in their early years for holding the pen with their left hands. In some families in Bangladesh the discrimination is really severe. An eyewitness claims of seeing a parent rushing from doctor to doctor for a 'cure' for the left-handedness of her daughter. And she was just 4 years old too. This sort of thing really has a bad effect on their growth. I can vividly see the kid being punished for not writing with her right hand in a few years, perhaps not only in the family but also in the schools (or is it the other way around?). Timur, 19 years old and a left-hander, informs that the same had happened to him when he first got into a kindergarten. The result is his awkward writing posture when he sort of twists his wrists and smudges his whole palm with ink while writing upside down. Writing upside down huh? Now that is incredible.

That's not all either. It seems that the left side has always been called the devil's side (source: Wikipedia). Imagine what kind of trauma it would induce on the poor and innocent children's minds, although I am not so sure how innocent the children are anyway.

Being in the right world
Means a lot of difficulties for the lefties. Lessons in tying shoelaces from right-handed parents never go a long way. Most of the southpaws this reporter has met had theirs tied in some weird loops. Using the computer is also very troublesome for most, especially if they have right-handed siblings. Most just adjust themselves to use the mouse with their right hand but that results in “cramps and headaches,” informs Sami, another lefty. Then there are the right hand dominated products, which are seldom… er… right for the lefties. Trouble with scissors, knives and putting the belt on upside down are far too common for them. Most left-handers slowly grow partly ambidextrous to fit in though, which is even more awesome than left-handedness. Not to mention they pull up their zipper using their wrong hand. Gawd!

Not necessarily is a bad thing
My awesome southpaw friend from RS informs, “I punch harder with my left fist and only win arm wrestling matches when my left hand is at play.”

The left-handers usually have an upper hand during fights. Most right-handers wouldn't expect an attack from the left side of the opponent, so they sort of have the surprise effect. So train your left-hand if you want to be good fighters and to win arm wrestling matches.

The lefties are generally more creative due to the assumed dominance of the right hemisphere of their brains. Of course that is only what the scientists assume, so there is a high chance that it will be proven false in near future and another new idea will surface. It can also be attributed to the fact that since the number of lefties is so small that they are easily noticed for their abilities. Nevertheless it has to be mentioned that there are great and awesome people among the left-handers. Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Aristotle, Mark Twain, Brain Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Akram, Diego Maradona (left footed rather), Pele, Rafael Nadal, that awesome friend from RS (who, incidentally can only wink her right eye and draws circles anti-clockwise) all are lefties.

So stop treating the lefties as trouble, people. Try pulling up your zipper using your wrong hand just once and you will know what they have to go through every day.

Finally to the lefties: be proud, you are the 10% that stands out from the crowd!

Sources: Wikipedia, www.lefthandersday.com



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