Roughly 90% of the world’s population is right handed. I was born left-handed. Over the years I have converted, “encouraged” to surrender natural for awkward. Eat with the right hand to avoid bumping elbows with the person to your left, unless you're able to wrangle a seat on one of the two favorable table corners. Writing - awkward, unless you can write in Arabic or Hebrew. Baseball. Try finding a left handed glove in Pope County. Or a bat. But my left side remains dominant, so I can and do revert. But the world is unfair to “wrong handers”.
Right side driving countries’ right-of-way rules say, “right’s right”.
Why do we write left to right? Right-handers can see what they’re writing, lefties just smear up the page or curl their hand in an unnatural contortion to avoid it, leading to life-long wrist problems. And illegible backward slant sentences.
On a QWERTY keyboard, the weird letters (Q,W,Z,X,V) are allocated to the left hand. The right hand gets the happy letters (I,O,U). Clear righty bias.
Why are there no left-handed catchers mitts at Dick’s? Is it any wonder Dale Long is the only modern era MLB left handed catcher?
Why do honored guests sit on the right? Even God’s “Right Hand” is dominant! Sheep to the right. Goats to the left.
You rely on your "right hand man". "Right as rain." "Might makes right." Tiring isn't it.
Where are the tools for left-handers? Scissors? Computer mouse? Skilsaw? Hammer? Guitar? Lecture hall desk? Bolt action rifle?
Two left feet? Really?
Sinister is Latin for left. Defamation.
Horse races are mostly run counter-clockwise. Why? It’s easier for right-handed jockeys Of course.
But .. some pluses for left-handers.
- If you have a good throwing arm, you can pitch in the Majors until you’re 50.
- In Buddhism, the left hand represents wisdom.
- 6 of the past 12 Presidents have been left-handed.
- Lefties are better fighters. The surprise left hook.
- Lefties recover faster from a stroke.
- It's better to be picked 2nd to last as left fielder, rather than last for right field.
This, as I hope you recognized, is mostly tongue-in-cheek, although it is in fact a right handed world. But, real, damaging discrimination in this country is undeniable. I am privileged. I have not suffered overt discrimination in my life. But even the smallest of slights have impact. I was entering a Chicago hotel elevator with my young family and a mink stoled socialite commented: "This used to be such a fine hotel". To my credit, I swallowed my response. My kids were with me. But, to think this snooty remark still irks me 50 years later says something about me, but also about the power of words to offend. So consider the small (or large) slights you have felt (or perpetrated) - I know you remember them - and consider with compassion what many in this country endure daily. Let's vow to be kind and respect each other.
Copyright © 2021 Dave Hoplin