Raise your hand (left) if you are left handed. Today, August 13th, is your party! It is precisely the International Left Handers Day, established in 1992 by the Left Handers Club, in the United Kingdom and dedicated to all those who every day navigate between doors, sinks, scissors, can openers, mice … tailor-made for right-handers.
Moreover, the very etymology of the word ‘left-handed’ (from the Latin ‘mancus’, defective and imperfect) confirms the negative prejudice towards left-handedness. In the Middle Ages, in fact, the left hand was considered ‘the hand of the devil’ and left-handed children were forced (even in not very distant times) to write with their right hand to the sound of unorthodox ways.
Yet the specificities are not lacking for left-handed people, both positively and negatively according to science. Some can be considered extra gears. They would also have an iron memory, since the two hemispheres are more connected to each other. Oh, science says it! And that’s not all: they are better at sports such as table tennis, boxing, fencing or baseball that require prompt responsiveness. They are also capable of thinking more ‘outside the box’ when it comes to finding solutions to problems. From the point of view of health, while it is true that they have a greater risk of breast cancer, on the other hand they have an advantage for example for post-stroke recovery.
Today, left-handed people are about 10% of the population, but compared to the past their particularity is no longer considered a defect to be corrected. And let’s not forget that the list of illustrious lefties is long. Inside there are three US presidents (Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush father), the Nobel Prize in physics Albert Einstein, who has revolutionized our conception of time and space, but also what is considered one of the greatest geniuses of humanity, Leonardo Da Vinci. And again Van Gogh, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Marie Curie, Charlie Chaplin, Jimi Hendrix, Diego Armando Maradona. Or, remaining in the news of these days, Prince William, actress Angelina Jolie, singers Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Facebook patron Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, tennis player John McEnroe, centaur Valentino Rossi , rapper Fedez, to name a few.
In short, there is reason to celebrate and Franco Battiato also sings about it, also left-handed: “Paganini knew it well, that the devil is left-handed and devious, and plays the violin” (Lode all’inviolato).