With a majority of the world’s population being right-handed, few left-handed products exist. As lefties, we are responsible for adjusting to the right-handed world.
So, what even are the struggles of being left-handed?
Recently, I was looking at golf clubs at an athletic store when I noticed there were zero left-handed clubs on display. Instead, I had to use my friend’s right-handed ones.
Of course, I lost, but I am also terrible at golf. It still made me wonder, would I have been better with left-handed clubs?
My golfing experience is a one-minute example of the struggles of being left-handed. Many right-handed products are difficult for lefties to use, such as, binders, three-ring notebooks, scissors, work tools, school desks, white boards and dry erase markers, and more.
Every Christmas for roughly six years I have always asked for left-handed binders. Let me tell you, they are a lifesaver! The ring is on the opposite side, which makes it easier to write in.
Left-handed scissors are also a lifesaver. Whenever a friend asks to borrow scissors, I always give them my scissors. I find it therapeutic to watch them struggle as I have struggled with right-handed products.
I think it is fascinating to think about how much our world is designed for righties.
For example, even cars are designed for right-handed people. The pedals are intended for your right foot to control and the radio/control center is on the right side of the driver.
The same is true for technology. The computer mouse is always on the right side because your right hand is meant to control it. The number pad of a keyboard is also on the right side.
Can openers are practically impossible for lefties. Thankfully, my parents installed an automatic one; otherwise I would not be able to use it.
Not to mention, sitting next to a right-handed person in a restaurant booth is a nightmare because you are constantly bumping arms.
Despite the disadvantages us lefties encounter, I think we have a few advantages over the righties, particularly in sports.
Disclaimer: my parents could not figure out how to teach me to play softball left-handed, so I mostly play sports right-handed. I think this is true for other lefties, too. We adapt to playing with our non-dominant hand.
In my experience, left-handed softball players were always better. They were an extra step closer to first base, so their odds of being called safe were greater. Left-handed pitchers were also better; they had a unique, natural curve to their pitches.
I always thought lefty volleyball players were better too. It was more difficult to block their hits and to pass their serves.
I am not too familiar with basketball or football, but I think it would be interesting to analyze the performance between left-handed and right-handed athletes.
As I mentioned earlier, my parents could not figure out how to teach me to play sports left-handed. I think this is true for many other lefties. As a result, we adapt to playing right-handed.
I can play tennis with either hand, but I prefer my left. The same is true in other net sports—badminton, pickle ball, etc. I can also hit left-handed in softball, but I prefer my right.
I think it is interesting that our right-handed world has made left-handed people more adaptable. Although it is not neat handwriting, I can also write with my right hand too.
Shockingly, adapting can actually be deadly for lefties. Many left-handed people die from using right-handed objects. For example, a left-handed person can die from using a right-handed power saw.
Despite the many difficulties we lefties must overcome; I would not change it for anything. I am proud of my unique power to be left-side dominant.
To my fellow lefties: I see you and I understand your pain. Embrace your distinctiveness!