We are all born right handed; only the best of us can beat it.

Picture the scene; it is a cold, frosty early nineties December morning and you are looking at a small suburban primary school. Moving in closer, you can see the six and seven year olds sitting around the miniature tables and flecks of tissue paper sitting in pools of glue where they are attempting the gargantuan task of creating snowflakes, paper chains and other Christmas decorations. All of which, incidentally, invokes every adult to coo appropriately just before throwing them immediately in the bin. In the midst of the children sits a little girl, whose glitter and glue coated hands are clasped uselessly around some now grubby paper and a pair of safety scissors. The paper has now stuck itself to the little girl’s hands and is now torn and bereft of its decorative beauty. But this doesn’t matter because no matter how hard she tries, she cannot cut that clean, sharp line through the paper, slicing it in neatly in half. She holds the scissors in her left hand, but alas the blade is set upside down this way. She must either get someone else to cut it for her or she will have to suffice with an inferior creation. She cannot join in. A few days later, the class is learning to write and this little girl is struggling no end. She is trying to follow the teachers’ instructions, but she cannot work out how to replicate the letters. She tries turning the paper sideways, which allows her more space to curve her pencil round and craft the letters, but then the teacher comes along, straightens the paper and tells her that she must make her work neater. She looks at the letters earnestly, bites her bottom lip and tries again. This will keep happening to her as she goes through her school life; teachers try desperately to get them to tidy up their writing, but not really knowing how to help. As she moves from the pencil (whose lead is so oft snapped from the heavy pressing from the little girl’s left hand) to the pen, she encounters a whole new set of problems; as she writes, the palm of her hand covers the freshly penned ink. It would take a good few weeks for her to work out how to write without getting ink coated hands and her life’s work illegibly smudged. Eventually, the little girl will establish a writing style and work out how to write in a legible way, but it will take her a great deal more time than the other “normal” boys and girls. As the little girl grows older and she moves to secondary school, she finds herself having to take sports lessons and it is here that she finds more prejudice. She will always have to stand at the far end of the line when throwing the javelin or discus in order to prevent any untimely accidents. Equally, she will have to wait until the end of the lesson before she is allowed to practice a lay-up in basketball as all of the cones have to be changed to the alternate direction. It is tales such as these and many others, which begin to show you how difficult it can be to be different. Most kids would have adapted and given up trying to survive as a leftie in a right-handed world, but this little girl didn’t know how. She wears her watch on her right wrist, plays tennis with her left hand, always has the element of surprise in a game of rounders and her writing is like that of a doctor. She has learnt to cope and has overcome adversity in a way that no right hander has managed – they do not realise the struggles inherent in opening a can of baked beans, of being taught sports and musical instruments by a right handed person or of trying to write a cheque in a normal chequebook. The left handed people of the world have had a lot of stick over the years with many modern languages translating the words wrong or evil as a synonym of left. (I bet David Cameron loved that!) Modern day slang for being left handed is “cack handed”, which sounds fine until you remember that cack basically means shit. They believed that left handedness could cause stuttering, dyslexia and schizophrenia. Some doctors still believe this stuff today; the modern quacks think that we are more likely to get breast cancer and allergies. For years, children were beaten and made to sit on their left hand at school so as to change them to a conventional and “normal” child. It seems strange that people felt so strongly that people should be right handed that they beat it out of our left handed forefathers (and mothers.) So why did they feel so strongly? Were they threatened by us? Damned right they were; people of the left handed persuasion are said to use the artistic side of our brain far more than the rest of you. Not only do we have more access to our creativity, but we are also natural leaders and strive for independence. Only 10% of the population is left handed, yet 4 out of the 5 Apple Mac designers were left handed and 66% of the American Presidents of the past 30 years have been lefties. Most of the best people in the world are left handed; Barack Obama, David Cameron, Rafael Nadal, Dan Aykroyd, Emma Thompson, Sue Perkins, Julian Clary, Jonathan Ross, John McEnroe and most famously, Maradona! As I say, it’s great to be left handed – there aren’t many of us, but most of them have made it to the top of their field. If you are left handed, don’t let the majority oppress you. Don’t let them stop the revolution that us lefties will bring; we are what they fear most and never forget that!

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