People all over the world are gearing up for their own special day, with 13 August representing the official left-handers day. In a world dominated by right-handers, this is the one day in the year when “lefties” are able to raises awareness on the issues they face in their daily lives.
Right-handers are invited to take part in the day’s celebrations and try their best to cope with the requirements of the left-hander. Just watching a right-hander attempt to use every day items the “wrong way” round and seeing their immense frustration when failing, is a source of great amusement to a “leftie”, who have to contend with the same difficulties every single day of their lives.
There have been hybrid conferences this week, hosted in South Africa and Nigeria, which could be attended either physically or remotely, celebrating “Left-handers in a Right-Handed World”, with the theme of pushing boundaries of Equality & Possibility.
Celebration is nearly 50 years old
The idea for a celebratory day for left-handers was first observed by the founder of Left-handers International, Inc., Dean R. Campbell, way back in 1976, to give a group of long sufferers a sense of solidarity, and over the decades it has steadily become more and more popular.
In a world that has an overwhelming right-handed bias, the difficulties that left handed people have to contend with are consistently overlooked, or worse still, completely dismissed as being insignificant.
Prejudices are being pulled up on a regular basis and are at the top of the list for world leaders in their key objectives, which is seen ironically as the “right” approach. Unfortunately, and frustratingly for those with a dominant left hand, the discrimination that they are subjected to pretty much every day of their lives, is simply not acknowledged.
Ignorance of the right-hander
Although the figure tends to drift a couple of percent one way or the other each decade, the average number of left-handers in the world is around 10%, so by the law of averages most right-handed people should have a relationship of some form with a “leftie”.
However, in most cases, they are blissfully unaware of the difficulties their family member, friend, colleague, or acquaintance has to put up with day in-day out. That is because more or less everything is designed, manufactured and developed with a right-hander in mind, and their ignorance comes from a place of nothing more than just that – they are ignorant to a left-handers issues, simply because they know no different, so basically remain oblivious to any possible problems.
In essence, it is a huge compliment to all left-handers that the majority of right-handers do not appreciate that there are any issues to speak of, as it only goes to show just how brilliantly a “leftie” can adapt to surroundings and equipment usage.
As one anonymous left-hander once said: “God made everyone right-handed, but only the truly gifted overcome it.”
It’s a left handed thing
There is a real sense of pride in being a left-hander, and being bracketed with the likes of: Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Marie Curie, to name just a tiny proportion of wonderful people who have proved how the disadvantages can be overcome and achieve exceptional standards, enhances that feeling further.
Nevertheless, it does not mask the annoyance that is felt when ridiculed by a right-hander for looking clumsy. “It’s a left handed thing… you wouldn’t understand,” is another popular saying used by most left-handers.
Having their own special day is not something that most take particularly seriously; but just having their unique group singled out for acknowledgement, does make it quite gratifying.