General News of Friday, 13 August 2010

Source: Stella Nyarko

Today is International Left Handers Day

Being Left Handed

13th of August every year is INTERNATIONAL LEFT HANDERS DAY.
How many people are away of there is a day like this. Even lefties as they are commonly called do not know of such a day. Left hander’s day is celebrated to create awareness and draw the attention of the world to the fact that not everyone is right handed and the challenges facing left handed people.

Left handed people are also known as southpaws and they make up to about 15% of the world’s population and there is a probability of this number increasing.
What then causes someone to be left handed? There are numerous theories to explain the causes of left handedness but my favorite is the testosterone theory. This theory elucidates that exposure to higher rates of testosterone before birth can lead to a left-handed child. It is named after the neurologist who proposed it, Norman Geschwind. It suggests that variations in levels of testosterone during pregnancy shape the development of the fetal brain. Testosterone suppresses the growth of the left cerebral hemisphere and so more neurons migrate to the right hemisphere. The highly developed right hemisphere is now better suited to function as the center of language and handedness. The fetus is more likely to become left-handed, since the right hemisphere controls the left half of the body. So lefties ask your daddies what happened prior to your birth. Catch my drift? Lol
It is also widely known that left handed can be genetic but that may not always be the case for most left hander’s including myself because I am the only left handed child among my siblings and both parents are right handed plus most of my left handed friends’ parents are right handed to.
There are social stigmas associated with being left handed. Some associate the left with evil. Some parents discourage their kids from writing with the left hand by forcing them to write with their right hand whiles teachers also beat their pupils who are lefties. This harms the child’s development. Luckily for me I didn’t experience this but a friend of mine is now ambidextrous i.e. he is equally adept in both hands purposely because of the beatings he endured when he was in the primary school (I admire his ambidexterity though he shouldn’t have gone through the awful beatings.) Ignorance causes people to do that.
In many societies including ours we don’t greet with the left hand... it is seen as a form of disrespect. Sometimes it comes naturally but then I apologize when I see a disapproving look on the person’s face. I have now stopped apologizing for being left and unconsciously greeting with the left. Many at times people don’t realize I am leftie, some are amazed when they find out, then I’m beseeched with lots of questions whiles others would want me to demonstrate something for them to see. Others think it is gross to eat with your left hand especially because of the things we do with it. lol.
So it normal for your child to be left handed don’t try to change him but rather encourage him and teachers should desist from the beatings with the aim of changing them
Do you know any left handed person?

Famous left handed people
This is a compilation of some of the famous left handed people. There are distinguished left handers who have excelled in their domain namely politics, entertainment, sports, arts etc.
Some of the great rulers of the world were left handed.
• Alexander, the Great, the greatest general of all times, was known to be the conqueror of the world. His being left-handed did not affect his feats. The other famous left-handed rulers and generals in the world are Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar

• President Barack Obama, sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America, is the 9th left-handed President to hold the office. Other left-handed U.S presidents are Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Harry Truman and Gerald Ford James A. Garfield, Herbert Hoover

• Other famous left-handed leaders in the world are Mahatma Gandhi, Otto von Bismarck, King Louis XVI of France, Lord Baden Powell, and Fidel Castro.
• Queen Victoria, the longest reigning monarch in England, was left-handed. Her left-handed successors include King George VI, Prince Charles and Prince William of England.
It is not that left-handed people were only leaders; there are also many left-handers in the fields of arts entertainment, business and sports.
• Leonardo Da Vinci, a left-handed painter was the name behind two of the world's famous paintings, Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. He is considered as the greatest artist and thinker in history. Michelangelo painted the ceiling of Sistine Chapel with the brush in his left hands.

• Some of the greatest composers Mozart and Ludwig von Beethoven were left-handed. The most successful musician, composer, poet, Beatle, Paul McCartney is a left hander.
• Sir Isaac Newton, a scientist, physicist, astronomer and mathematician. Along with him, Aristotle, Albert Einstein and Marie Curie were all left-handed so was the very famous statesman Benjamin Franklin
• Lewis Carroll, the creator of the famous Alice in Wonderland, along with Mark Twain and Goethe the famous poet were all left handed

• Entertainers- Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Keanu Reeves, Oprah Winfrey, Jay Leno, Phil Collins (Genesis), Isaac Hayes, Seal, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Eminem, 50 cent, Tim Allen, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, Lisa Kudrow , Julia Roberts, Sylvester Stallone , Bruce Willis, Drew Barrymore, Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman and the new guy in town…Justin Bieber and directors Spike Lee and James Cameron …. I love their movies

• Sports- In sports, there are Diego Maradona, Pele, Romario, Hugo Sanchez the legends of football, are left-handed. Talk about Oscar de la Hoya and Mike Tyson in boxing

• Successful businessmen like Bill Gates, Henry Ford and David Rockefeller are left handers. Besides, remarkable women in history like Joan of Arc, Helen Keller were also left handers.

It is quite difficult for left-handed people to live in a world where most tools and machines are designed for right hand use. However, we find that left-handed people all over the world have excelled beyond imagination in every field. Perhaps, it won't be an exaggeration to say that nearly all the noteworthy people in the world were left-handed… even in crime…Osama Bin laden is alleged to be one.

Stella Nyarko