Something in the region of 87% of the human population of this planet are right handed; and although they will know -- with very few exceptions -- at least one person who is left handed, be it a family member, close friend, work colleague, school pal, or simple acquaintance; they basically take that dominance for granted. This is brought about through ignorance; not in a selfish way, but through the fact that we all live in a 'right-handers' world. As a consequence, they have never had to struggle in the same way as the left hander; who for generations, had to adapt to tools and equipment that were designed to be used in a completely different way. This they have done brilliantly, with little fuss; often being the butt of some uninformed gag.
Well things are a changing! Finally the penny has dropped with manufacturers; so much so that there is now a whole host of products available, designed exclusively for the left handed user.There are far too many to list in one brief article; but as a few examples, you can now acquire, for use in the office or at home, stationery items such as: Ruler -- how good it will be to be able draw a line without the other hand obscuring the measurements. Notepad -- designed with the right edge glued down to allow removal of sheets whilst writing with the left hand. Ballpoint pen -- creating the perfect pen grip which eliminates smudging, by allowing the user to clearly observe what has been written. Scissors -- always create a problem for left handers, so with this alternative style, with the blades reversed, a clear view of the cutting line is always visible. Cheque books are also obtainable -- one of the many awkward things a left-hander has to do is attempt to fill in the stubs.
This version has them down the right hand side, so at least you'll be able remember where all your money went! For the handyman/woman out there how about the left handed paintbrush, with its unique handle shape which bends to correspond with the shape of the hand; or maybe a craft knife, with a left-handed locking blade? In the kitchen there is a corkscrew with an anti-clockwise screw; or a can opener which is held in the right hand and the rotary handle turned away from you with the left hand -- on the left side of the tin!.I guess any of the above could be given as a thoughtful present; but if you're looking for the more personal touch how about a ladies leather purse and the gentlemen's leather wallet, each with a completely upturned design, which enables them to be undone, without their contents emptying out everywhere, when opened by a left-hander. Perhaps a manicure set, containing left-handed curved nail scissors for the lady and a Swiss army knife - with scissor blades reversed and corkscrew with an anti-clockwise action; for the gents.
Amongst the most exclusive gifts for left handed people is the left handed camera, with its 2 shutter release buttons, one on either side so it can be used comfortably with the left, or right hand. So at long last we are getting there; obviously simple economics will dictate that a high percentage of commodities will continue to be built specifically for the right hander, but it would be interesting and highly amusing to see them trying to use an alternate design with a left hand bias. It is re-assuring to know also that some of history's most important, influential and successful people were themselves left handed. Again, there are far too many to mention, but when you cite the likes of Horatio Nelson; Leonardo Da Vinci; Michelangelo; Pablo Picasso; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Ludwig Van Beethoven; Marie Curie and Albert Einstein it certainly proves to parents of a left-hander that it need not be a handicap.
Although it is worth noting that Einstein had problems in almost every subject in school and was frequently labelled as being backwards! But then again those tutors would have been right handed!..Mick Burrows writes for http://www.
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By: Mick Burrows