The world may be designed for right-handed people, but thankfully there is a day set aside to recognize us southpaws: August 13 is International Left-Handers Day.
Learning to adjust to a right-handed world started at a young age for me. Desks that had the wrap around on the right side. Spiral notepads with the spiral on the left where my hand was trying to rest. Scissors that never quite felt right in my fingers. And a constant smudge of lead and ink on the outside of my left hand from passing over words I’d just written. One of my many excuses for being a bad cook as an adult is because all the kitchen tools are built for righties. (Just try a manual can opener with your left hand and you’ll understand!)
While only 10% of the population is left-handed, a surprising number of famous people fall into this group. Five of the last seven presidents are lefties (in the comments below, guess which two aren’t and first correct answer wins $15 Starbucks gift card). Artists da Vinci and Michelangelo. Businessmen Henry Ford and David Rockefeller. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin. TV hosts David Letterman and Jay Leno. Musical talents abound from Judy Garland to Jimi Hendrix. Many great athletes, too, including Greg Louganis, Larry Bird and Sandy Koufax. Let’s not forget Joan of Arc and Alexander the Great.
It’s a neurological fact that left-handed people have right-hemisphere-dominant brains, so therefore we lefties like to rub it in that we are in our right minds. Apparently there is actually some science behind our superiority. According to research published in the American Journal of Psychology, there is some evidence that left-handed people have the upper hand in at least one creative facet – they’re better at divergent thinking, a method of idea generation that explores many possible solutions. Trust me, making that manual can opener function properly as a lefty requires a significant amount of creative problem solving (and patience)!
At one point in JP Marketing’s history, 40% of our team was left-handed. Today there’s just two of us. I’d love to have more lefties, but it’s illegal to single out a special group for hiring preference. So for now, the two of us will celebrate our special day clinking our coffee mugs that have the logo on the “right” side.