International Left-Handers Day

Welcome to a day of all things left! This been a holiday since 1992. I quote from the Left-Handers Club Website:  “On 13th August 1992 the Club launched International Left-Handers Day, an annual event when left-handers everywhere can celebrate their sinistrality and increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed. This event is now celebrated worldwide.”

About 10 percent of the population is left-handed, though that number jumps in some professions, like sports or acting. But the question of why some humans are left-handed has perplexed scientists for centuries. There are lots of theories but no real facts. There are a few things we know. For instance, more twins than the general population tend to be left-handed, so it appears that handedness is at least partly genetic. Left-handers seem to be more at risk for schizophrenia than right-handers, but tend to be better at sports. Fortunately, we no longer consider left-handedness to be a mark of abnormality or sin. I’m old enough to remember children being punished in school and made to write with the right hand.

I think part of the stigma comes from the Bible, which considers right-handedness to be right and normal, and left-handedness to be abnormal. God is always spoken of as acting with the right hand.

Here’s a list of some famous left-handers:

  • Barack Obama
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Steve Forbes
  • Bill Gates
  • Paul McCartney
  • Alexander the Great
  • Prince Charles of England
  • Helen Keller
  • Lewis Carroll
  • H. G. Wells
  • M. C. Escher
  • Michelangelo
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Winston Churchill
  • Albert Einstein
  • John F. Kennedy

The graphic below is from the left-handers club web page.


Quotes about left-handedness

Let not the right side of your brain know what the left side doeth.–George Bernard Shaw

If the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body, and the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body, then left-handed people must be the only ones in their right minds.–Anonymous

Life without left-handed people wouldn’t be right.–C. R. Manske

Left-handers are wired into the artistic half of the brain, which makes them imaginative, creative, surprising, ambiguous, exasperating, stubborn, emotional, witty, obsessive, infuriating, delightful, original, but never, never, dull.–James T deKay

The law of the road is a paradox quite
As you’re driving your carriage along;
If you go on the left, you are sure to be right,
If you go to the right you are wrong,
Anonymous English rhyme, 19th century

Light is the left hand of darkness and darkness the right hand of light.–Ursula K. Le Guin

All the decisive blows are struck left-handed.–Walter Benjamin

Two and a half thousand left-handed people are killed every year using things made for right-handed people.–Maggie O’Farrell

“Are you really left-handed?” Mr. Marshall asked.
“No. I’ve just been pretending to use my left hand my entire life because I enjoy never being able to work scissors properly.”–Courtney Milan

Left handed people are special and neat
To some, they are backwards; to others, they’re sweet
Their lives have a purpose; they use their right brain
Each lefty, committed to always sustain
They live in a world where right-handers rule
They overcome obstacles in work and school
A small population, compared to the whole
Each southpaw is born with a kind-hearted soul.
–Jill Eisnaugle

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at

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