The Left-Hander Syndrome: The Causes and Consequences of Left-Handedness by Stanley Coren
Left-handed people make up 13% of the population, according to this book (which is filled with all kinds of fascinating facts about that 13%).
Yes, lefties are relatively rare, and, yes, they are Interesting. I’ve long wanted to be one.
So when some left-handers got born into our family (which had always been a passel of righties), I was so darn excited I nearly passed out when each one first picked up a jumbo crayon in that tiny little left hand.
And when I saw the Blue Angels signing autographs after a recent airshow, I gasped: “Three of them are left-handed!” That’s 50% of the demonstration pilots, and that’s a little freaky.
Which is why you just gotta love the left-handed persons of the world. They are interesting! Just watch them write their name: Interesting.
Coren asserts that “left-handers tend to be more extreme in their overall abilities” (p. 177). So the Blue Angels southpaws are an example of the positive extreme (over-achievement), but research has also shown that left-handers experience higher rates of learning disabilities.
Continuing with the bad news, this book also contends that left-handedness leads to shorter lifespans, probably due to the dangers faced by lefties living in this right-hander-oriented world.
Even books—books!—are geared toward the right-handed. (I confess I never thought about that ever before. But now I see it’s true.)
The unfortunate lefties face prejudice and corrective action and computer mice made for right-handed people. It’s rough.
So let’s get back to the over-achievers, shall we?
Beyond the Blue Angels pilots (fascinating!) there are many, many notable lefties, including several U.S. presidents*, two of whom were mentioned in the book: Ford and Reagan. And the author contends that Ford’s infamous mishap on the steps of Air Force One (which can be viewed on YouTube, but I can’t bring myself to link to the video) was due to his left-handedness. (An intriguing thing to ponder.)
And recently there’s been a whole smattering of left-handers in the White House. In fact, we’ve got one now.
Does anyone else think this stuff is just the best?
There may be those out there who are thinking: This whole post ain’t nothing but a ruse for more Blue Angels talk, with a photo, no less. I will neither confirm nor deny this allegation. (Just be glad I spared you more photos; this post almost was like this: “Here’s one of them–a known leftie–waving (or signaling?) with his right hand!”)
Oh, hell, here goes:
* The presidential lefties: Obama, Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan, Ford, Truman (love him!), Hoover, and Garfield