Left-handedness is broadly disapproved in most cultures and in the past in a bid to discern the complexities of lefties also called southpaw. Certain theories from the time gave way to explain such human rarity. Dating back to the Middle Ages, Roman, and Greek and in other cultures left-handedness was considered inferior or even bad luck.
Ironically, in some cultures, the left side was associated with feminity, which for them is the source of life and thus worshipped with sacredness, whereas studies have shown that there are more left-handed males than females.
The Greeks also represented men and women as opposites, with the man representing the right and the woman representing the left. This comes from the ideology of birthing a male child when the father’s seed comes from the right testicles and the female child; from the left testicles. While for the Jewish culture to grasp human nature, it links the good to the right and the wicked to the left.
Historically, left-handedness was not graced with the prestige it is getting these days. In the region of Africa, a 19th-century sociologist narrates an account on a visit to the Zulu people of South Africa on how boiling water is poured into a hole and a child’s left hand is placed into it to scald the hand with the intent to prevent the child from using it. This speaks for itself how much of an anomaly lefties were regarded. During the Salem witch trials, being a dominant left-handed person was an automatic death sentence as they were seen as cohorts of the devil as they used their biological difference to victimize them as witches. Science at the time did more harm than good to southpaws, as many findings by these scientists only incited more bigotry in the lives of lefties.
In the mid-20th century, authorities like sociologist and psychologists put forward the association of stubbornness and criminality to be in tie with individualities of lefties. Surely, the 1% lefties out there are glad they were not born at such extreme times.
In Nigeria as well as in Ghana, it is a taboo to use your left hand to give, receive, eat and drink. It is especially considered rude when it is coming from the young to the old. The left hand is seen as unclean since it is relegated to do the “dirty” jobs. Among the Yorubas, there is a strong condemnation of the usage of the left hand which is called, “owo osi” but with the gradual receptiveness it is now called “owo alaafia”. Therefore, myth and cultural belief is the compass that is sort is to navigate supernatural cosmos of life.
What does the science compass say about being left-handed? Set to redeem its initial statements, science has delved into this biological phenomenon through empirical findings which have interesting news for the left-handed community. One being their distinctiveness, which is traced to their gene, and this leaves them with a myriad of ingenious oomph. Oftentimes, lefties are creative geniuses equipped with divergent ways of processing their thoughts through the right brain. Consequently, puts them on the spotlight. With this trait, these rare gems do great in all sphere of life like in sports being advantaged by rareness, politics and technology.
It has been a roller coaster ride for lefties who at one time where stigmatized and in another they pride in their supposed “profanity”. They make up roughly 10% of the population, while 87% are right-handed 1% ambidextrous. In modern times they are more celebrated and even have a special day set aside to celebrate their distinctiveness and unique lifestyle, which is on August 13th left-handers day. It is imperative to note that the increase in left-handedness has increased as it is fast becoming socially acceptable and stripped off its demonic attachments. So have a rethink while Shooshing!!! your kids from using their left hand because you might just be slaying a genius yet to bloom.
Remember the enigmatic painting of Monalisa? That is the work of the most famous artist Leonardo Da Vinci who was unmistakably gifted and thus can equally be associated with the expectations and the findings of science about left-handed individual’s creativity. Others include Napoleon Bonaparte with a long history of being a leftie explains today why the British still drive on the left side. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince George are left-handers.
Living an impactful life with their rare abilities, left-handers are destined for great things as we see with Greeks great thinker Aristotle, Neil Armstrong, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.
In many ways, the affectations of the past remain in society today, many using them unwittingly in the cause of upbringing. Factors such as genetics, psychological and environmental influences have been used to establish facts, in conjunction with ways in which religious and cultural beliefs have influenced the quality, manner and philosophies of a people.
Hence, next time you want to scold a left-hander, ask yourself “how viable are my reasons?”