August 13 marks National Leftie Day. If you’re a southpaw, you may not be aware of these surprising facts.
1. Daydream believer
Lefties make up only about 10 percent of the population, but studies find that individuals who are left-handed score higher when it comes to creativity, imagination, daydreaming and intuition. They’re also better at rhythm and visualization.
2. In good company
Benjamin Franklin and Henry Ford are listed as left-handed, along with four of the last five U.S. presidents. England’s Prince William is also a lefty. Michaelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Renoir made the list, as well.
3. Health perks
Left-handed stroke victims reportedly recover faster. While the reason is unclear, some believe it’s due to left-handed people having to strengthen both sides of the brain to succeed in a right-handed world. Because many lefties are better at using their non-dominant hand, it’s less difficult for them to recover from a stroke that damages one part of their brain.
4. Think it over
Left-handed people are said to be good at complex reasoning, resulting in a high number of lefty Noble Prize winners, writers, artists, musicians, architects and mathematicians. According to research published in the American Journal of Psychology, lefties appear to be better at divergent thinking.
5. Join the club
For a quarter-century, the official left-handers club has hosted events dedicated to left-handed people across the globe. Activities include left vs.right sports matches, a left-handed tea party and pubs that use only left-handed corkscrews.
6. A sporting chance
Left-handers may have the edge in competitions where opponents face each other, such as tennis, baseball and boxing. This may be due to the fact left-handed athletes have more opportunity to practice against right-handed opponents.
7. Success stories
Word is, left-handed college graduates go on to become 26 percent richer than right-handed students. In addition, four of the five original designers of the Macintosh (Apple) computer are listed as lefties.
8. Shop ’til you drop
There are stores devoted to selling practical and novelty items to lefties. Online shops offer everything from left-handed mugs and kitchen sets to school and office supplies, clothing and “backwards” watches and clocks.
9. Very superstitious
According to myth, giving a toast with your left hand is the same as placing a curse on the person you’re saluting. When Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, depictions showed her as being left-handed, in order to appear more evil. Left-handers were also harshly discriminated against during the 18th and 19th centuries, and it was often “beaten out” of them.