One Perk to Being Left-Handed
There are many drawbacks to being left-handed. You bump arms with people when you sit next to them at the table, you can’t write without smearing ink or graphite, and the left-handed have faced general persecution throughout all times and societies.
Perhaps it is more accurate to say left-handers have faced general bullying than persecution. It was never the stated policy of any state or government to round up left-handers and kill them, although that has been discussed. Nor have left-handers ever been systematically denied any rights.
But lefties have faced thousands of years being forced into awkward situations by the world around them, and being called names like clumsy, weird, and even evil.
“In most European languages, “right” has a double meaning conveying justice, lawfulness, and truth (i.e.. righteous, right-minded, etc.). Words for “left”, on the other hand, don’t fare as well. The French gauche, the Italian sinistra, and the Portuguese canhoto also provide alternative meanings such as “brash”, “awkward”, and “uncouth”. The very word sinister comes from the Latin word for left…”
Those types of words should be reserved for the kids who like to eat bugs, blow spit bubbles, or dip chicken nuggets in mayonnaise. You know, people who deserve it.
The name of this website is an homage to this generations old linguistic persecution. A practice that is more commonly known as “name calling.”
So the left-handed weren’t given the absolute worst hand in history. Sticks and stones and all of that. But feeling like you’re stuck in elementary school for millennia can really wear on a group of people. Not to mention the fact that in order to find anything useful, you have to go to a special store.
The world just wasn’t made for left-handers. But there is at least one definitive perk to being a southpaw. Despite what your high school baseball coach might have told you, it has nothing to do with sports.
When learning complex computer programs, like mapping software, database management, or operating the Matrix, it pays to be left-handed.
Most left-handed people are proficient at using tools with their right hand. There just aren’t that many left-handed tools floating around out there. You learn to use tools with your stupid hand because there aren’t many other options.
In the developed world, computers are becoming more and more ubiquitous. They’re everywhere, and used for everything. Computers are more common than hammers or brooms or any other kind of tool.
The standard computer station is set up with the mouse on the right side of the keyboard, forcing the left-handed person to manipulate the curser with their non-dominant hand. This might seem to put the left-hander at odds. You aren’t going to walk into a library and find a computer set aside for left-handers, and for some reason computer lab attendants get really mad when they find out you’ve been switching the mouse buttons on their machines.
But a left-handed person learning a computer program actually has an advantage. They can use the mouse with their right hand, and still have their writing hand free for taking notes. No switching back and forth between mouse and pen.
This technique essentially allows the left-handed person the use of two tools at once. A computer mouse in one hand, and a pen or pencil in the other. Or a crayon, depending on how mature you are.
But this only works at computer stations. Using two tools at once in any other occupation, regardless of your handedness, is not recommended. It’s really just showing off, and can only end in disaster.
Writers should stay humble and only write with one hand at a time. Bakers should never carry more than one cake. And it should never, ever, be double hammer-time.
This was terrific. I wonder if there’s any studied done on how being left handed originates. Whether it’s a learned behaviour or biologically encoded and brought out through environmental factors. Anyway, sir, very amusing post. I was hoping you’d mention Flander’s Leftorium hahaha
Thank you very much! As I understand it, current scholarship on handedness suggests there is a left-handed gene, so it is a hereditary trait, but still only present in %10 to %15 of the population. Personally, I think it is an evolutionary advantage for the species as a whole. Handedness effects the way a person thinks, so it may be nature’s way of mixing things up in the realm of ideas.
Thanks for the comment!
It was an insightful read, so thank you.