IT’S A RIGHT HANDED WORLD
In virtually every society throughout history, there has been discrimination against left-handed people. Left-handers have always been considered evil, sinister, weaker, or inferior people, and many of them have faced violent efforts to convert them to being right-handed. Even through the middle of the twentieth century, most left-handers were still being forced to write with their right hand. While there is not nearly as much active persecution against left-handers today, there is still a great deal of bias against them. There is bias against left-handers in the design of tools and equipment they have to use, and in the instructions that they must learn from. We allow left-handers into our classrooms, into our workplaces, and on our playing fields, but we still make it difficult for them to fit in and to feel comfortable.
The issues affecting left-handed people are much more serious than most people realize. There are many things that right-handed people take for granted that are more difficult for left-handers. This includes many basic skills taught in school, such as learning to write, learning to use scissors, and learning various crafts, hobbies, sports, and other activities. If we don’t teach left-handed children just as well as we teach right-handers, they are more likely to lose interest in school and to lose confidence in themselves. It is not exactly clear how all left-handers fare in our society, but indications are that many are not doing well. Studies show a higher dropout rate for left-handers, and a higher percentage of them among the criminal element and among the underachievers of society. Some studies indicate that left-handers are more vulnerable to various accidents, addictions, and afflictions that can actually shorten their lives. These studies are not large enough to be conclusive, and there are still many conflicting theories and opinions, but their implications are alarming.
Not all left-handers have a difficult time living in a right-handed world, and many of them are offended by implications that left-handers need any kind of help. Many people believe that being left-handed is a special privilege, and that the challenge of being a lefty has made them stronger. There are many happy, healthy, and successful left-handers, including some of our most famous artists, athletes, entertainers, and politicians. These are the most visible of all left-handed people, while the ones with the biggest problems are less likely to be noticed and less likely to be heard from.
In between the extremes are the rest of the left-handers, and there are varying opinions about how much of an issue being left-handed has been for them. Almost every left-hander seems to have one particular thing that bothers him or her the most. Many older left-handers have bitter memories about the way their parents and teachers treated them. Younger left-handers have had an easier time of things, but they still have many complaints and frustrations.
How would this world, or this school, be different if left-handed people were a majority? First of all, a right-handed person might be writing an article like this complaining about the injustices towards the right-handed. Binders would open from the left and handles of pencil sharpeners would be on the left side. Authors would write books on famous left-handed and not on right-handed people. Lastly, there would be left-handed scissors for all! These are a few of the many adjustments that can be made.