August 13th is Left-Handed Day

Today we celebrate our left-handed friends! Did you know that left-handedness was once thought of as a disability? Parents and teachers went so far as to use physical restraints on children to force them to use their right hands. Worse, left-handers were subject to discrimination because they were considered “witches” and evil.


So in past decades, life was beyond challenging for the 12 percent of our population that is lefthanded, until the mid-20th century when scientific research revealed that having a dominant left hand was not a defect.


Because our brain is cross-wired, meaning the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa, lefties use more of the right side of the brain which is the center for imagination and creativity.  Many famous brilliant folks like Leonardo da Vinci and Mahatma Gandhi share the left-handed gene.


While there are still struggles for lefties, everything from guitars to scissors is geared to right-handedness, for example, it is certainly not a disability. We can learn a lot from the discrimination that lefties endured for centuries in how we treat those with actual disabilities and mental health disorders. Acceptance is always better than stigmatization.