NKD Connect: International Left-handers Day

Happy International Left-handers Day!

August 13th is International Left-handers Day and is a chance to tell your family and friends how proud you are of being left-handed, and also raise awareness of the everyday issues that lefties face as we live in a world designed for right-handers.

Derek chatted to Laurence, Sara and Charlotte about their experiences being left-handed and about some of the struggles and memorable highlights they have faced being left-handed.

Derek Danquah: Being left-handed have you ever felt left out i.e. at school, college, a friendship group or work?

Charlotte Elsey: Probably not left out but I think when I was learning to write in reception, the teachers actually tried to force me to be right-handed. I actually couldn’t do it, it made me feel really uncomfortable and a bit isolated I suppose. On the flip side, as I got older at school, I actually quite liked it when friends would notice and comment by saying “oh you’re left-handed” or “I didn’t know you was left-handed”.

Sara Castela: That’s very interesting because I don’t actually remember the time when I was left handed because I was around the age of 5 when I started to write and draw and that’s when my teacher as well as my grandma spotted it and tried to get me to pick up pens and pencils with my right hand.

In school we were taught to use your right hand instead of left because of cultural background. So, I couldn’t actually remember being a real left-handed person until I got a bit older but equally, I didn’t feel left out of anything.

Laurence Bishop: Only when I was asked to play the violin – you can’t play a violin left handed. 

DD: What do you think are some qualities a left-handed person has?

CE: What I’ve heard is that left- handed people are creative but I don’t know if that’s actually true. I know a few people that are left-handed from when I did my art course and design degree, I’ve heard that as a leftie you could use different parts of the brain differently.

SC: I’d like to think that there is a creative trait in being left-handed, at least I’d like to think that because of my profession being a designer, I always think that’s a nice thing to mention.

LB: Left handers are supposedly more creative – this has been invaluable for a career in finance. 

DD: What are your thoughts on left-handed people being only 10% of the world’s population? 

CE: Hmm… it makes me feel a little bit special… It actually makes me wonder is that a biological thing ,a genetic thing or is it because it’s a cultural tradition globally?

SC: It’s not about quantity… it’s about quality!

LB: I’m happy with that – I like being part of a select minority, I’m also a Spurs fan.

DD: Can you remember a time when being left-handed has benefited you?

CB: No, not benefit to be honest, which is a bit sad. A bit of the opposite really, when I was at school people will jokingly say “oh being left-handed is being cack-handed!” and things like that. But it hasn’t really bothered me or stopped me from doing anything, I’m proud to be left-handed!

SC: As a foreigner that lives in a country that drives on the right side of the road, being left-handed gives me the advantage to easily drive a manual car in the UK.

LB: Not really, I once caught my brother off guard with a left hook, that felt beneficial at the time.

DD: Is there anything that you would like to say to the left-handers on left-handers day?

CE: I just hope when young kids are at school they are celebrated for being different, especially when they are at their early learning years. It’s really important to let them be how they want to be and let them develop and don’t force them to do things they don’t naturally do.

SC: Carry on doing what you’re doing and don’t change the natural way you do things. I ended up doing that and it left me a bit dyslexic in my ways of communication. It also meant that when learning to drive, I wasn’t sure which hand to use! Never contradict your brain for anything! Be yourself!

LB: Stay strong – it is possible to buy left-handed scissors.

Want to read more interviews with the NKD family? Check them out here.