Left-Handed Myths And Facts

Introduction

Being a lefty can be pretty rough sometimes in a world that is predominantly populated with people who exhibits right-handedness. I know because I am a lefty. In fact, for every 100 people in the population there are about 10 left-handed people. But that number can vary from a low of 0.7% (roughly 1 out every 100 people) in the Japanese population to a high of 13% (13 out of 100 people) in the Canadian population. I and many other lefties face minor and major challenges every day in our lives because practically everything that is made with a handiness characteristic are made for right-handed people. For starters, the keyboard I used to type this hub page is made for a right-handed person. For example, the numeric keypad is on the right side of the keyboard. When I use the keypad, I have to refrain myself from using my left hand to let my right hand do the key presses on the numeric keypad. The point is we can do everything a right-handed person can do with these right-handed equipments but sometimes it can be a little challenging and awkward. I can go on and on with this, but in this hub I will concentrate on the myths and facts about left-handedness.

Myths of left-handedness

Obviously, left-handedness has been around since the existence of primates and so have the myths. When we take a look at the history of left-handed people, unfortunately we come up with a lot of undesirable myths about them. Lefties were often perceived as being evil, sinister and in many cases treated in terrible ways because people simply did not understand why some people were right-handed or left-handed. Children were often spanked, chastised, and in some cases their left hand was tied behind their back to make them write with the correct hand.

Bad Myths About Left-handers

For centuries, some cultures often associated left-handedness with evil and sinister beings, especially the Devil. The Devil was often portrayed as being left handed in many images. It is also believed that we see ghosts over our left shoulder and that the Devil watches us over our left shoulder. This belief is often dramatized in cartoons where the figure of the Devil is on the left shoulder and the Angel is on the right shoulder when someone is confronted to make a decision between good and evil. This is also the superstitious reason why some people throw spilled salt over their left shoulder to ward off evil spirits.

Good Myths About Left-handers

There are some myths that say good and positive things about lefties. Such as, the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand is associated to left-handedness because around 300 BC many doctors believed that a nerve from the heart ended in this finger. Furthermore, the Romans and Greeks wore their wedding ring on the left hand to fend off evil associated with the left hand. The ancient Zuni tribe considered left-handedness as a sign of good luck and they believed the left was the older and wiser.

Facts About Left-Handed People

Here are some interesting facts about lefties.For instance, most left-handers are male and among identical twins, most likely one of them is a lefty, but not always. Left-handed people are generally high achievers because their brains are wired to widen their abilities. It is the right hemisphere of the brain that controls the left side of our body and this is the side that controls Music, Art, creativity, perception, emotions, and genius. According to research most left-handers are intelligent and have higher IQ scores compared to right-handers. That is probably why a higher percentage of left-handers are found in such jobs and professions as music and arts, and the media. They have a higher level of creativity. Many left-handers generally end up in architectural fields because of their higher level of spatial perception.

However, there are some negative facts about being left-hander also. For instance, most sufferers of dyslexia and speech deformation are usually left-handers. Finally, one of the most interesting thing about left-handedness, every living organism on Earth uses the left-handed amino acid instead of the right-handed counterpart to survive. Furthermore, the organic chemicals in all living organisms rotate polarized light to the left. No organism can use organic chemicals that rotate polarized light to the right.

List of Famous Left-handed People

There are many famous people who are left-handed. Some will surprise you.

  • Bill Gates - Founder of Microsoft and multibillionaire
  • Lt. Commander Data - Star Trek android character
  • Shigeru Miyamoto - Game creator for Nintendo
  • Benjamin Franklin - Statesman, publisher, scientist
  • Nelson Rockerfeller - Vice President
  • Steve Forbes - Businessman, publisher
  • Julius Caesar - Roman general
  • Helen Keller - advocate for the blind
  • Bart Simpson - cartoon character
  • Jimi Hendrix - Musician
  • Isaac Hayes - Musician
  • Michelangelo - Artist
  • Tom Cruise - Actor
  • Whoopie Goldberg - Actor (The View, Star Trek -Next Generation)
  • Keanu Reeves - Actor (The Matrix Trilogy)
  • OprahWinfrey - Actor, Talk Show Hostess
  • Bill Clinton - 42nd President
  • Gerald Ford - 38th President
  • Ronald Reagen - 40th President
  • Barack Obama 44th President

The list goes on and on...



© 2010 Melvin Porter

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Comments 38 comments

melpor profile image

melpor 20 months ago from New Jersey, USA Author

PaigSr, thanks for visiting my hub and for your comment. Yes, ambidextrous counts too.


PaigSr profile image

PaigSr 20 months ago from State of Confussion

I am not a lefty but the wife is ambidextrous. Does that count? Thanks for the information to help me understand a lot more.


PaigSr profile image

PaigSr 20 months ago from State of Confussion

I am not a lefty but the wife is ambidextrous. Does that count? Thanks for the information to help me understand a lot more.


JayDubsJenni 23 months ago

I'm an architect (lots of lefties) and the daughter of two lefties. I'm a righty :( I have always thought lefties are sexy!!! When I went out with my BF on our first date, we played pool. I was soooo excited when I realized he was a lefty. Interesting read! Thanks!!!


melpor profile image

melpor 2 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Lovelypaper, according to religious beliefs the devil is considered to be left handed.


melpor profile image

melpor 2 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Thanks Lovelypaper. Writing this hub is a good way of finding other lefties out there. I did not realize it at time.


UndercoverAgent19 profile image

UndercoverAgent19 2 years ago

Very interesting hub! I had no idea that the left side of the body was once heavily associated with the Devil.


Jeff Porter profile image

Jeff Porter 3 years ago from Georgia

Mel, I suppose it's possible. We are both have the same last name AND we're both lefties.

Actually, I do have kin up that way, but they're distant kin.


melpor profile image

melpor 3 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Jeff, thanks for your comment and for stopping by to read my hub. I see we have the same last name. Are we related?


Jeff Porter profile image

Jeff Porter 3 years ago from Georgia

Great article! Thanks!

(from a left-handed Hubber!)


Paola 3 years ago

I didn't know there was a myth about a left hand


Miranda Garcia 3 years ago

I'm female, a lefty, and I'm insanely smart. I'm in scholars' bowl at my school. I'm in 9th grade and it's meant for 10th through 12th grade. And there is nothing wrong with me.


melpor profile image

melpor 3 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Trevid, thanks for your comment and for stopping by to read my hub. Wow! This hub is connecting me to all the lefties out there. Especially, those in the Hubpage community.


Trevid 3 years ago

I'm a lefty and I think it's great. It throws people off although it can pose as challenging living among the majority of right handers


alisha 3 years ago

a very nice article for all the lefties......


JamesLfowler 4 years ago

I don't know why I am wasting my time posting here, I just thought hey, I'm bored and wanted to see the origin of left-handedness and started searching. On top of being a lefty, I also have a facial warp from (most likely) the absorption of my twin embryo. so I have two odd halves of a face that semi-match. (Talk about a tortured life). As a child, I was a lefty from the start, and also used my right on many occasions as well. Teachers always thought I was odd , and the kids didn't really like me either. The teachers tested me , and my scores were off the charts ,the teachers and my parents didn't know what to do with me because I was from a small town. Back then there was no specialized schools for talented kids, so over time I pushed boundaries and did whatever I pleased (Which landed me into a heap of trouble - and a bad reputation)Because of these variables things I too had developed an uncanny and natural knack for music, writing and obviously art. I now run a small business in art in Las Vegas, in which all art is sold and created by myself.

I do bronzes. hand carved wood , oils and just about anything else art related. Everywhere I go, anyone who sees my work is dumbfounded, but no one wants to actually pay for it. so alas, I remain poor and homely. WTF? So I don't know about any proven Left-handed truths other than I am uncannily attuned to spirituality (two types from my understanding, life and death) mine being death, so it shows in my work. Also , to my understanding from many college professors, left-handed people tend to be what tribes would call Shaman or the spiritual backbone of the tribe. However since over time society has eliminated such needs from people, these persons tend to end up being artists, musicians etc...

So , I was hoping for answers, and end up rambling. I hope that maybe this might help answer any questions that people might have? I will continue my search elsewhere. Peace out! 8)


melpor profile image

melpor 4 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Cammyshawn, once again thanks for your comment and reading my hub.


cammyshawn profile image

cammyshawn 4 years ago

I was a dental assistant for several years before becoming a nurse. During my training, it was awkward because my right-handed preceptor kept trying to think like a left-hand person when teaching me how to pass dental instruments. I had to explain to her that left-handed people turn things around in their head automatically when dealing with right-handed situation and that she should teach me the same way she would teach any right-handed person. I think that is the most frustrating.


melpor profile image

melpor 4 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Cammyshawn, you are right and thanks for the comment. I am always faced with the challenge of using something made for righties. A lot of times I have to think and make adjustments to articles I am planning to use that is right-handed. Jimi Hendrix had to restrung his guitar in reverse order to become one of the great guitarist in recent history.


cammyshawn profile image

cammyshawn 4 years ago

I'm a female lefty and love this hub! I say, we have to be intelligent and creative to teach ourselves how to operate in a right-handed world!


melpor profile image

melpor 4 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Bubbiz, thanks. I will make the correction.


bubblz 4 years ago

u spelt spirit wrong.....

"This is also the superstitious reason why some people throw spilled salt over their left shoulder to ward off evil sprits."


daffadel 4 years ago

I came across this site in search of info, my grandson is a leftie,I think it's cool,he's aways been very smart from birth to now.I love lefties.nanny


Aisha 4 years ago

Im also a leftie from birth its interesting to search on yourself and why getting to know your different my parents as such didn't had any issue about me bieng a lefty but some relatives had and mostly on the fact that i ate with my left hand but now after a lot of struggling i adjusted in this world of righties but still i wont say every lefty is intelligent well at least im not !!


tinashe 4 years ago

Hi. I am a lefty and my family never understand why i have such major issues with the potato peeler!!! But i just cant use it without hurting myself. It's a fact that lefties are discriminated against in big and small ways but i think being different truly rocks. I am so proud to be a lefty. :)


irdLady 5 years ago

I am a lefty since birth and I have heard it all and very proud to be left-handed. When I was a child, my parents and teachers tried to change my primary hand, but it did not work. I do think “out of the box” and I am a professional web developer, Microsoft Certified and working to become a book writer. I am always told how smart I am and I love every bit of being different just the way God made me.


randomman 5 years ago

im a leftie and im proud to be one its just that people don't appreciate us because we are different.

they will be sorry when we take OVER THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MUHAHAHAHAHAHA


reeree 5 years ago

Love this article. I was the only leftie in my class as well. Scissors were the worst. Kids used to pick at me cause I couldn't cut right. Or people would say "you write so nice for a left handed person". I hated that. But now I am married to a leftie! Awesome right? Made for each other :). Too bad our daughter is favoring her right hand over her left. Too bad we could have been a family of lefties.

Anyway hope your article opens some "righties" eyes and the give us lefties a break.

Thanks!


melpor profile image

melpor 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Abubakar, thanks for you comment and for stopping by to read my hub. I am glad you now have a better understanding of your girlfriend because she is a lefty.


abubakar yusa 5 years ago

its good i have learnt about my girl friend


melpor profile image

melpor 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

2besure, fortunately no one in my family tried to make me change my handedness from left to right. Thanks for the comment.


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I remember my poor nephew. When it was discovered that he was left handed everyone from his mother to his teacher, insisted he use his right hand. Great light shown on the myths of left handedness. Voted up!


melpor profile image

melpor 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Gmwilliams, I am meeting a few left-handers this way. I was in the same situation as you were in school, the only left hander in class. It was a tough sometimes, because most of the desks in the class were made for right-handers but I managed. Thanks for your comment.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To melpor: I, too, am a leftie and have been since birth. In my elementary class, I was the only pupil who was left handed. However, no teacher changed me and to this day, I am left handed. This is such a great hub! I am very creative and do think outside the box. Even as a child, I was not so receptive to "conventional thinking". I always knew that I was different. I can sketch at the semiprofessional level although I never went to art school. I love to write fiction and articles. I can think of things out of the blue and create from that!

My mother, who is right-handed, asks me plenty of times, who taught me that? I reply to her that not everything is taught, a person can think and create for himself and/or herself. I am thankful to be "out of the box." Good hub!


KAssey 5 years ago

hahaha im left handed and people tell me im reallly creative all the time. i decorate everything and write music and is real good at essays and such in literature.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I'm a leftie although I'm right-handed! LOL!

Interesting Hub - thanks.

Love and peace

Tony


melpor profile image

melpor 6 years ago from New Jersey, USA Author

Lovelypaper, Thanks for your comment. It is a pleasure meeting another leftie considering the fact that there are 10 left-handers for every 90 right-handed person.


lovelypaper profile image

lovelypaper 6 years ago from Virginia

Wow, I really learned a lot from this. Very interesting for me because I'm also a leftie.

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