As Wikipedia notes, being a left-hander living in a right-handed world is inconvenient. The design and placement of everyday objects such as ticket dispensers in underground stations, door handles, hot water taps, can openers, pens chained down in banks and post offices, ringbound notebooks and even the printing on promotional pens is created for right-handers.
Left-Handers’ Day is August 13th, 2014. It is a great opportunity to celebrate being left-handed with millions of other left-handers all over the world. All year long, lefties have to fit in with a right-handed world, but on August 13th it is time to demonstrate left-handed solidarity.
Ideas for celebrating Left-Handers Day could be:
- Show your right-handed family members what you have to deal with every day. Why not ask them to help with cooking a meal using only their left hand? They’ll soon see how difficult regular peelers, spatulas, microwaves and bread-knives are to use with their left hand.
- If you happen to own left handed devices, replace certain items for the day–e.g., left-handed scissors, can opener, tape measure, even kitchen knives are shaped to respond to right-handed pressure, so there are left-handed sets that will help lefties cut, for instance, bread straight, while righties struggle against curved cuts. (Note: since lefties have had to adapt to a right-handed world, some of these devices are even awkward for southpaws at first, through years of practice the hard way.)
- If you are an adult and inclined to engage in drinking games, maybe have a drinking game with your right-handed friends, where everyone has to just use their left hand – and anyone who touches the glass with their right hand has to do a forfeit.
- Create a ‘Left-Handed Zone’ in your office with informative posters that are available to download from http://www.lefthandersday.com/posters.html.
Any other ideas? Share them. It’s all in the name of awareness. Realize, please, that the safety and convenience of left-handed users is generally overlooked by right-handed designers in our society. The safety features on most power tools, for instance, are made for right-handed users. Some firearms eject spent shells away from right-handed shooters, and directly across the line-of-sight of left-handed shooters. These are just several examples of countless daily hazards.
Although 12% might not seem like much, in the grand scheme, that means that of the 4 million people in Los Angeles, for instance, there are 480,000 lefties, in the United States there are over 37 million lefties, and in the world there are almost 850 million southpaws. Among the present, well-known personalities that are left handed are:
- Robert De Niro
- Angelina Jolie
- Scarlett Johansson
- Prince William
- Barack Obama
- Robert Redford
- Jay Leno
- David Letterman
- Sarah Jessica Parker
- Keanu Reeves
- Seth Rogan
- Owen Wilson
- Bruce Willis
- Morgan Freeman
- Mark Wahlberg
- Tom Cruise
- Justin Bieber
- Oprah Winfrey
- Ben Stiller
- Bill Gates
To name just a few. Many of the people you go to school with (more that one out of ten of them) are left handed. Consider them next time you use a ticket machine that draws tickets from your right hand, or use a cell phone with volume and mute buttons strategically placed for easy use with a right hand.