Lefties Have It Right
Lefties have it right.
By Rob Hoffman on January 8, 2018 at 5:31 AM
Let’s face it, there’s nothing in our physiological makeup that has fascinated us, or mystified us more than the functioning of the human brain. It is by far our most important organ, and yet, it remains the one that we know the least about. While we continue to try to ascertain its workings, there is still so much about this magnificent biological structure we have yet to fully comprehend. (I suppose that is why it is so hard to truly know ourselves.) I believe we are living in a time where we hunger to understand the brain, and we can all thank the president for that. After all, he himself has discussed the importance of the brain, and has told us on numerous occasions that he in fact has, “A really good brain.”
(“I have a very good brain.” They say that’s exactly what Sir Issac Newton used to say after the apple fell on his head. All smart people have really good brains, and feel the need to tell us about it all of the time…right? In fact, remember the time Albert Einstein stated that he was a really mentally stable genius? You Tube)
It is our brains that explain everything about us. Many psychologists prescribe to the notion that our behaviors, likes, and habits are predetermined, and that our brains are simply hardwired to be as they are. Sure our environment shapes us to some to degree, but let’s face it, people can tell you from now until the judgement day that you should like seafood, or appreciate art, or poetry, but if it’s not something that you would naturally gravitate towards, no amount of coaxing in the world is going to get you to a place where you are going to sit there and enjoy a “poetry slam,” when the idea of poetry literally causes you to break into hives.
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I can say with great confidence that I would not have been one of these wide-eyed gadflies who sat around on college campuses listening to the “Bard of Haight-Ashbury,” Allen Ginsberg. I suppose that my brain simply isn’t wired as such that I can enjoy an art-form such as free-verse poetry. Of course, if Ginsberg were to show up sporting let’s say Yodels, I suppose I could be coerced to listen to a little good old-fashioned “Hippie Poetry.” What is it about Yodels that make the prattle of poetry just go down a little bit smoother? (Getty Images)
Considering how differently we are wired, it shouldn’t be any wonder that we are a divided people here in the United States. However, I believe the media has it wrong regarding what divides us. There’s a lot of talk about the concept of tribalism, and how we are loyal to our own “tribe” or group. While I don’t disagree with this description of how our society is broken down, I do believe that the way most so-called experts have attempted to explain the causes of our tribalism are way off the mark.
It is my estimable opinion that it is not race, nor religion, nor region, nor the football teams that we root for that divide us as much as it is the conflagration that is “left vs. right.” I don’t mean the political left vs. the political right. I mean left-handed people vs. right-handed people. Think about it. Sure there’s racism in the world. African-Americans and whites don’t see the world the same way here in the United States, this much we know to be true. However, even amongst whites or African-Americans, there is division over the concept of being right-handed vs. being left-handed. How did we get here, and can we bridge this gap, or are right-handed people simply doomed to be inferior to left-handed people? (Spoiler alert…I’m a lefty!)
This division over left-handedness vs. right-handedness lies squarely on the doorstep of the brain. It is our brains that determine whether we lean towards left-handed vs. right-handed dominance. How typical is it to be left-handed? Not very. Somewhere between 88-92% of the world’s population is right-handed. How soon in our human development do we choose a dominant hand? Apparently pretty early. According to researchers who studied hand dominance in utero, they found that hand dominance in the womb was an accurate predictor of handedness after birth. Heredity also plays a role as well. Nearly 24% of handedness is inherited. As a lefty with two right-handed parents, all I can say is, I wish I knew which hand the milk-man delivered with.
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Like all things of value in our society, lefty’s are rare. We’re like leprechauns, but taller. (Hoffman Collection)
There was a time in our society that being a lefty was considered a negative. People would criticize your handwriting, or the way you held a fork, or cut your meat, or your ability to handle scissors, or your throwing. Look at baseball. Most of the positions on the field are made specifically and exclusively for right-handers. Forget Jackie Robinson, the real hero who integrated baseball was the first player to stand to the first-base side of home-plate, or throw from the mound from the first-base side of the rubber with that slinging motion, tossing another unhittable slider.
My Aunt Sylvia, who has since passed away, was not known for her cheerful, optimistic nature. In fact you could argue that she only had two moods; fed-up and surly. How did she acquire a disposition that was so chock-filled with sourness? Most likely it was because she was born a lefty, but was forced in school to write and eat with her right-hand. This is worse than making a child renounce their religion. Religion is a choice. Nobody chooses to be left-handed, and yet our education system has historically denied 12-14% of our population that most basic of rights, to favor your lefts.
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The “Immortal Babe.” The “Sultan of Swat.” The “Bambino.” The “Hefty-Lefty.” (I kind of embellished on that one.) Babe Ruth was an inspiration to every chubby left-hander who has ever picked up a baseball, especially when you learn that he used to play with his glove on backwards since they didn’t even have a left-handed mitt at the orphanage where he learned the game. (Getty Images)
The sad truth is, left-handed people have been discriminated against by an uptight, and right-leaning society that has sought to crush those free-spirited “port-siders” who just want to be free….man. Historically, left-handed people were routinely accused of consorting with the devil, and during the 15th and 16th centuries, any woman who was left-handed could be branded a witch. (If you listen to The Eagles’ classic “Witchy Woman,” backwards, you can clearly hear Don Henley say, “Bitch is lefty.”) Even during the supposedly more enlightened 19th century, left-handedness was sometimes brutally suppressed. In school, students who preferred using their left-hand to write with would often find their left hand tied to the back of their chair.
Even in modern times, the lefty is forced to exist in a world where the scissors, most sports, the left-to-right style of how we write, and many attempts at manual labor are all catered towards the prissy and spoiled right-handed majority. This group of left-brained, right-siders, are an oppressive bunch that are so insecure about their dull sameness, they use the word for “correct” to describe their handedness. What’s so “right” about being right? Why are we lefties left behind? Why are we so put upon? I’ll tell you why. Left-handed people are rebels. We are non-conformists. We don’t go with the flow. We are the fly in the ointment. The proverbial turd in the punchbowl. We are the antagonists, and we won’t be denied, as long as you have those special left-handed scissors that make it so much easier for us to cut stuff up.
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A rallying cry for those who refuse to conform. This is the true “rebel yell!” (The Hoffman Collection)
Even in politics, being on the left is seen as a negative. Right-wing politics is ascendant. The “Alt-right” is the hottest political movement in America as we speak. In Europe in the early part of the 20th century, people willingly supported the Fascists in Italy, and the Nazis in Germany rather than support the left-wing policies of the Socialists or Communists. (Granted, the Communists were and are pretty horrible, but the Nazis if possible were worse.) If you wanted to destroy a politician’s career in America between 1920, and, well today, all you have to do is refer to them as a “lefty.” The only way it would seem to survive as a left-wing politician in the United States, is to be at least 74 years old, look disheveled, and yell a lot about the rich in a very thick Brooklyn accent, even if you’ve lived in Vermont for over 40 years. (By the way my little left-wing millennials, it didn’t work for Bernie either, he lost, remember?)
In fact, anything that smacks of the “left,” is seen by the teeming masses as negative and undesirable. Consider the following:
A bad idea is “out of left-field.”
A guy who sucks in baseball is told to play “left-out.”
When somebody is trying to insult you, but make it sound like they are saying something nice it’s called a “left-handed compliment.”
Food that’s not finished at dinner time, and is reheated the next day in a dried-out, crusty, and luke-warm version of its former self, is known non-affectionately as a “leftover.”
When Jesus comes back, and takes all of the good-hearted people who are the true believers, while the sinners who didn’t make the cut must fend for themselves amidst the devil’s minions, it’s known as being “left-behind.”
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Why couldn’t I have listened to my mother and teachers who begged me to be right-handed. If only I hadn’t been such a rebel, I could be chilling with Kirk Cameron in whatever vanilla flavored version of heaven he’s squatting in. (You Tube)
Outside of being a non-conformist, are there any advantages in going through life as “southpaw?” Well….
You usually only have to hit against righties in baseball, which is good for a lefty since getting to face a righty is easier.
Nobody really ever borrows your baseball glove since there are very few lefties.
Your serve in racquetball, tennis, and perhaps squash, (I really don’t know anything about squash other than it tends to get played by swells named “Mitt,” or “Buzz,” or “Chip,” or “Clark,” or some “tool-like” moniker given to an individual I wouldn’t be caught dead “chilling” with.) is really hard to return. I’ve won racquetball games without ever having to hit the ball a second time after I’ve served due to the fact that some people find it very frustrating to return a left-hander’s serve.
Lefties always get the end of the table since nobody wishes to buy an elbow from me or any other lefty while we’re eating with our unconventional left-hand.
Left-handed people tend to return quicker from strokes. (Either that or nobody can tell the difference.)
Supposedly, left-handed college graduates tend to earn 26% more money than right-handed graduates. (This stat may be a little bit skewed since both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are and were both left-handed. They more than make up for my teacher’s salary.)
They have a better chance of passing their drivers test. Lefties pass 57% of the time, while righties only pass 47% of the time. One therefore could make the assumption that we left-handers must be better drivers. (Fun fact, I failed my road-test on the first try. Sorry, other lefties.)
They are faster typists. That’s why I’m able to write these blogs so quickly. Look, I’m finished…not.
They spend less time standing in line. Geez, it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it.
They are better at multi-tasking. (Or as my brother calls multi-tasking, doing a lot of things at once poorly.)
(Source: Left-handed people are great, righties suck.com)
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Because we lefties have been so badly discriminated against over the centuries, we have needed to invest our time in developing cute little sayings, and putting them on coffee mugs. The best part, while we’re drinking our coffee, those insufferable right-handers have to read what’s on our mugs every time we take a sip. They can literally suck-it. (The Hoffman Collection)
Probably the greatest attribute that lefties have going for them is their creativity. How can I prove this? Take a look at this list of famous lefties and you tell me if we’re not G_d’s most gifted children.
Barack Obama – No surprise here. Is there anything this Kenyan, Muslim, Socialist isn’t to the left of?
Bill Gates – Let’s see, richest man in the world is a lefty. Check!
Oprah Winfrey – “You get a left-handed glove, and you get a left-handed glove, and you get a left-handed glove,” is what I imagine her saying when I daydream about Oprah being a lefty.
Babe Ruth – A great pitcher and perhaps the greatest hitter in baseball history, and of course he’s a lefty. You know, this is just getting boring pointing out our superiority.
Napoleon Bonaparte – Which hand was it that he stuck in his shirt for all of those portraits?
Leonardo DaVinci – Does that mean that the Ninja Turtles are left-handed as well?
Marie Curie – Lefties “radiate” greatness.
Aristotle – I think, therefore I believe I’ll be a left-hander, or something like that.
Jimi Hendrix – I hear the guy could play a little guitar. By the way, I believe he shot heroin right-handed, of course.
Edward R. Murrow – Only the best journalist in history. I believe he could smoke with either hand however.
I would also mention famous lawyer Clarence Darrow, H.G. Wells, James Baldwin, Michelangelo, Charlie Chaplain, Robert De Niro, Bill Bradley, and Ned Flanders. Guess who’s right-handed? Well, if you had guessed Tom Brady, Adolf Hitler, Bill Belichick, Joseph Stalin,and Judas, then you’d be correct…or should I say “right?” Do you really need any more proof?
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I’m sorry, could somebody remind me how many right-handed artists painted the most famous portrait in world history? Oh that’s right, the man was a lefty. Thank you Leonardo. You are the Jimi Hendrix of the Renaissance. (Getty Images)
I believe I have accurately explained the greatness of being left-handed. However, what are we to make of those who are ambidextrous, the bi-sexuals of the hand-dominance world. Are they more flexible? Are they more open-minded? Do they have some sort of genetic advantage? Personally, I believe that they are descended from a tribe of magic pixies. I’m not sure I trust these people. Pick a handedness, and stick with it. We don’t need you genetic supermen making the rest of us look bad.