Hey, all you south paws around the world....today's your day!
Every year, the world's population of left-handed people - about 10 percent - are honored on August 13th when everybody stops to consider what it's like being a lefty. This year, International Left-Handers Day is celebrated on Sunday, August 13, 2017.
What makes lefties special
Living in a right-handed world means you're set apart from nearly 90% of the population.
You're also most likely to be creative, if only because you have to have your wits about you. That's especially true when handling right-handed carving knives or soup ladles which can turn into a very dangerous endeavor in the kitchen if you're not clever.
Working with scissors? Using a number keypad on a computer? Bumping elbows with righties at the dinner table? These represent only a few of the challenges lefties face through a typical day -- not to mention operating a stick-shift when nothing else is available at the car rental.
"An unusual number of musicians - from Kurt Cobain to Beethoven - have been left-handed..."
And, let's not even mention right-hand spiral binders.
Of course, it could be worse.
Back in the day, teachers were still rapping the knuckles of any student writing with their left hand in a misguided effort to help them fit in. It rarely worked, and only increased the frustation level of a challenged minority.
Lefties tend to think out of the box
Today, research studies have proven that being left-handed nevertheless comes with handy benefits.
For example, left-handed people are more apt to have leadership abilities having had to forge their own way. Modern day American presidents like Clinton and Obama are both left-handed. Lefties are more likely to use the right sides of their brains, as well. That usually means they often have increased aptitude for math, science, and architecture.
Famous lefties include tennis star Rafael Nadal, actor Tom Cruise, President Barack Obama, and actress Angelina Jolie.
So it should really be no surprise that Albert Einstein was a famous southpaw. The math genius is joined by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and M.C. Escher who were all expert at spatial relationships.
Musical abilities are also heightened in lefties, illustrated by an unusual number of musicians (everyone from Kurt Cobain to Beethoven) who have been left-handed.
Another famous leftie.
Other famous lefties include baseball pitchers Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford, and Tommy John; tennis champs Martina Navratilova, Rafael Nadal, and John McEnroe; and Olympic greats Dorothy Hammil and and Mark Spitz.
• The Incas thought left-handers were possessed of magical abilities and healing powers. The North American Zuni tribe believed left-handedness signified good luck.
• Cats, dogs, and monkeys all show some handedness (or pawedness). But it is the parrot that shows a distinct preference with a surprising 90% using their left foot for picking things up or manipulating objects.
• Throughout history, southpaw baseball pitchers, tennis players, and left-handed swordsmen have been the most feared of any opponent. The reason? When battling left-handed opponents, rIght-handed athletes often get confused about where the next strike might come from!
• And speaking of southpaws, where did the term "southpaw" originate? Traditionally, the word is assumed to have begun with left-handed baseball pitchers. But its origins appear to date back much further - to the early 1800's - when the term simply meant an unexpected turn of events.
More about National Left-Handers Day around the Web:
Left Handers Day - The official site for celebrating the day, and a lot more including a serious look at how teachers can help the left-handed, as well as left-handed product reviews, lists of famous lefties, and free membership to the Left-Handers Club.