Yes. I’m a lefty, and I’m proud of it! 🙂
Apparently, I am part of the ten percent in the world who use their left hand, whether it be for writing, eating, brushing my teeth, etc. etc. When I’m cutting up steak, I use my left hand to control the knife (as opposed to the right). When I clasp my hands together, my left thumb is on top of my right. Overall speaking, it’s rare to be left-handed, and I find that really cool. 🙂
The left-handed trait is genetic, and so I was born with it. I am the only person, at least in my immediate family, who is left-handed: both of my parents, as well as my sister, are right-handed.
So how am I the odd one out? Well, my grandfather (on my dad’s side) is a lefty, and that’s where I probably got the trait from. Interestingly, it skipped a generation, since neither my father nor my aunt (his sister) has the trait.
And interestingly, my cousin (also on my dad’s side) was born left-handed, but was “converted” by my aunt to use her right hand. She would tell me that, when she was little, she would be forced to practice writing, eating, and playing with her right hand and when she regressed to her left, she would be punished (i.e. scolded, beat on the hands). Now, she uses her right hand, but it’s interesting to learn that she once could have been like me, if my aunt hadn’t converted her.
That practice is not as uncommon as you think: there are some people who find the left hand a “deviant” trait, and so want their children (or even themselves) to become right-handed for the sake of being “in the norm.” They justify their reasons by saying that it is inconvenient to be a lefty, since many activities tend to be biased towards the opposite hand. I have to admit, they are *partly* correct: notebooks are a nightmare to write in, the ink or graphite smearing the side of my hand as I write. I think it happens to a lesser extent for the righties. And also, if the notebook is especially spiral-bound, the metal spiral part of it cuts into my hand whenever I’m writing. Doesn’t hurt, but it’s annoying, partially obstructing my hand from writing effectively. Ah, the struggle…
Even further, there are some scissors which are designed exclusively for right-hand people. Ever seen one of them? I always have to hold them at an awkward angle when I am cutting paper or whatever. Again, it’s a pain in the ass (or the hand).
In the historical past, being left-handed meant being associated with the Devil. And apparently, people have been burned at stake- just for using their left hand! The Latin word for “left”–sinistra–is where the English word “sinister” derives from- not exactly pleasant. Other languages like Chinese or French associate the word “left” to also mean “awkward, clumsy, out of accord.” Again, not very positive connotations.
There have also been studies about left-handedness. Some positive, some negative: some have concluded that lefties tend to be more creative, more intelligent, more likely to approach situations in new and innovative ways. Dunno if all that’s true, but that sounds really good! 🙂 On the other hand, there have also been studies saying that lefties have a higher chance of becoming criminals, dying earlier, and being homosexual. Not exactly the best news (although why is it a “bad” thing to be homosexual? It’s not!). In any case, I take these studies with a grain of salt; while I’ve met lefties who are “artsy” and smart and cool, I also know righties who are just as awesome.
Even though I am left handed, there are a few things that I do exclusively with my right hand. Like, the violin: I was trained to play it the “normal” way, meaning: the bow with the right, the violin with the left. If I were to have learned the other way, it would have been a whole other different experience- as well as given my teacher a headache. 😛 I also throw/pitch the ball with my right, as well as arm-wrestle with it.
A little detail that I want to share: I have my tattoo placed on my right arm, specifically my right inner bicep. Before I got it tattooed, I had intentionally decided that it would be inked on my right side, because I wanted to keep my left free. Pure, you might say. It’s this weird, spiritual shit, but regardless, I find that it has some meaning. And I don’t regret it.
That being said, I have pride in my left-handedness. People are mildly surprised when they find out that I am left handed, and their reaction gives me a sense of satisfaction in myself. But other than that, we shouldn’t discriminate or make assumptions about people’s personalities and behaviors on this otherwise subtle difference. Like eye color or birthmarks, it is something that makes you…you.
So celebrate it.
– The Finicky Cynic