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According to various studies, I am more apt to suffer from migraines, allergies, moodiness, and insomnia. Sounds like menopause, doesn’t it?

I am one of the 10 per cent in the world with the dubious distinction of being a leftie.

I say dubious because, throughout history, lefties have been feared and despised. Well, that explains the can opener.

The very word ‘left’ comes from Anglo-Saxon lyft which means weak or broken.

The German translation is awkward or clumsy and in Italian, it can be translated to mean crooked, maimed or dishonest.

We have one thing over the other 90 per cent of the world’s population though, our very own day.

Actually, that’s not the only thing we have over righties.

Apparently, we recover from strokes faster, our eyes adjust to underwater vision faster, we are champion multi-taskers because, it is thought, the connections between the right and left sides of the brain work faster in left-handed people which means information is transferred faster.

We are renowned for our creativity, not surprising as we are better at 3D perception and thinking than our right-handed counterparts.

When it comes to handling a tennis racquet or baseball bat, we produce a higher proportion of champions on a percentage basis – think tennis’s Jimmy Connors and Henri LaConte or baseball’s Babe Ruth.

While the rest of the world loves to hate us, they also love us to be leaders – five of the last seven US presidents were lefties.

Despite the fact we are more likely to stutter or have dyslexia or schizophrenia, we are also more likely to be geniuses.



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According to a study from the University of New York, there was a higher percentage of left-handers with an IQ of more than 140 (genius bracket) than right-handers.

We’re in good company. Marie Curie and Albert Einstein were lefties. So were Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Four of the five designers of Apple Mac are lefties. Remember, there’s only about 10 per cent of us in the whole world.

Some of my very favourite musicians are/were lefties; Annie Lennox, David Bowie, David Byrne, Jimi Hendrix, Cole Porter, Chuck Mangione to name a few.

The list of famous leftie actors is equally impressive including Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Pierce Brosnan, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Diane Keaton.

We reign supreme when it comes to words too. On a QWERTY keyboard, 1447 English words are typed solely with the left hand, as opposed to 187 with the right hand only.

We even have an advantage when it comes to writing in Hebrew, as that language is written from right to left.

Maybe if I’d been writing in Hebrew way back in school my teachers would not have tried to retrain me into right-handedness. My mother quickly put an end to this when she found out. She, like the Incas, believes in the magical abilities and spiritual powers of lefties.

Perhaps our biggest advantage lies in our fighting skills and our famous left hook. According to Listverse, the Bible makes special mention of left-handed warriors and another study has shown that the more warlike a society, especially in primitive cultures, the higher percentage of left-handers there are.

More research suggests we’re just a bunch of scaredy cats, who are easily embarrassed with a tendency towards alcoholism (though this last theory has since been debunked). As a lefty, I’m telling you now, trying to open a can with a right-handed can opener is enough to send anyone to drink.



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International Left-Handers Day is celebrated worldwide on August 13 each year.

As a proud lefty, I couldn’t help but want to join in the celebration.




I see people often seem most deft

When they pen with their right and not their left

And yet when it is time to fight

It’s lefties who have all the might

Lefty fighters in Biblical times

Were brave warriors in dangerous climes

Yet rumour has it they’re scaredy cats

Unless holding a racquet or baseball bat


They’re quick to anger and fast to blush

And can more easily become a lush

They’re called weak and broken and crooked and maimed

Yet for creativity they are famed

Marie Curie and Al Einstein too

Were lefty geniuses through and through

Allergies and migraines may make them weep

Particularly when deprived of sleep


But as multi-taskers, lefties do rule

And can’t be mistaken for anyone’s fool

Despite all the gadgets designed for right hands

Lefties CAN still open humble tin cans.

And if all that they say ‘bout the brain is true

That the left side of the body, the right side rules

There’s just one conclusion that you will find

It’s only us lefties that are in our right minds.


Have a gleeful week, Tamuria.






  • Oh I loved this, Tamuria. I’m a proud leftie and despite all the fun that people make of us, we’re the best! 🙂

  • What a fun post! There are a lot of creative people who are left handed. Thanks for sharing.

  • This was great. I have to admit, being a right handed person, I don’t think about being left handed, although I do know several of the latest presidents of the USA have been left handed. Terrific poem.

  • This reminded me so much of my father, Tamuria. He was a renowned psychiatrist, and would always light up when he saw a Leftie. Because he KNEW they are some of the most creative people on earth. He would always ask, “Do you dream in color?” as that’s a hallmark of Lefties.
    You just made me remember him with a smile, and miss him, in one post 🙂 Thank You!

  • Interesting since the dictionary’s definition of “sinistral” means left-handed; of, pertaining to, or on the left side; left (opposed to dextral). “Sinistral” is related to the word sinister and meant “unlucky” when it entered English in the 1400s.

  • Thank you Tamuria for this opportunity to stretch:

    My son is a leftie I’m proud to say,
    And has risen to great heights in many a way
    A tennis pro he did become
    Only to not want to win but play as one

    The sky is the limit at 6’4
    Handsome too, who needs more
    Warm heart, smart, he can also sing
    Philosophy and computers are his thing

    Husband, father, out & about always playing ball
    As a lefty he is all that is right & has it all
    As a son I wouldn’t have him be any other way
    I bless my lefty every single day.

    • Oh, Roz, I do so love your rhymes. Your son sounds like an absolute gem and a great ambassador for us lefties. I envy his height, as I find being short is way more inconvenient than being left handed.

    • Tamuria – My sister is left-handed, and one of the most creative people I know. She’s a commercial artist by trade, and is so very good at what she does. I’ve read that when a child begins to display left-handedness, that trying to change that will lead to stuttering. So now, parents are encouraged to just let their children be whichever hand dominant is in their nature. So maybe the # of left-handed people afflicted with stuttering will decrease – let’s hope!

      • Oh yes, let’s hope for sure Joan. I think that trying to change people from left to right-handedness can cause a lot of other troubles as well, so it is good that is not encouraged any more.

  • So, what a fun post this is, Tami! Except of course hearing about the health woes you deal with. Hopefully not because you’re a lefty though. 😉

    Interesting thing is when my daughter was young, we saw how versatile she was moving from her right to her left hand. She could throw a baseball with either. She often held a musical instrument like a lefty would. She did ultimately choose her right hand.

    I love exercises that encourage us to switch from our dominant hand to our less dominant one. We’ve done this in many art exercises and the experience and results are always fascinating. Thanks for sharing about all these wonderfully creative right-brained people who are actually left-handed!

    • Thanks for the lovely support Beverley. Amazingly, I knit right handed because that’s how I was taught – could be why I never manage to finish any knitting I start. Fortunately, I haven’t had any of the ‘left-handed’ health issues I mentioned, except maybe moodiness and the occasional sleep issue which I put down to hormones.

  • The Shukla family is filled with left handers, Tamuria, so this post really resonates with me.

    My late paternal Uncle was a leftie forced to write with his right hand – in those days teachers forced children to write with the right hand and I remember my Dad explicitly telling my younger sister’s class teachers not to force her to write with her right hand.

    I think I might be a silent leftie because while I write with my right hand, I hold the pen slightly differently and carry luggage better with my left hand. Can’t remember if any teacher forced me to change hands as a child. 🙂

    • Those were rotten days for lefties, Vatsala, when teachers tried to force you to change. Research proved it messed up your brain signals. That’s why my mother fought so hard when the school tried to force me to change. Sounds like you were meant to be a leftie, but maybe you chose to be right-handed as you were watching how the majority of people around you did things.

  • That was awesome! I am not a lefty but appreciate the post defending the wonders of it. I am sending the post to my daughter in law, whose brother is a lefty. Happy Left-Handers Day!

  • I laughed out loud at the can opener! Easy for me because I’m right-handed, but it shows how pervasive right-handedness. Any “handicap” suffered by lefties clearly is brought up by righties! Thanks for a great piece; will be sharing.

  • It’s just common sense.. if you try something..and it doesn’t work… find something that will make it work… because what is the alternative, giving up? That’s just crap! lol

  • What an awesome post Tamuria! I have 2 sisters that are left-handed 🙂 You had me giggling as I was reading, because it is so true about the lefties lol 🙂

    Thank you for sharing!!

  • I love this! I was born a leftie, but my teachers forced me into being a rightie. I’d love to learn how to write with my left hand someday. I can do it, but it’s not quite legible. Also, your article makes me wonder if the company Lyft thought about what their company name means in other languages prior to naming their company. 🙂

    • I hadn’t thought about the company name Jennifer – interesting. I’ve been writing with my left hand all my life and it’s not quite legible either. 🙂 But on a serious note, it’s rotten that you were made to change.

  • I love it! I read it to my son, who is a proud lefty! Thanks!

  • Well thank you, Tami for all the things I didn’t know about lefties. What a comment about how certain cultures recognized their value and others were threatened by it. Now, with all this information, lefty kids can stand up to their tormentors.

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