Today is the day that those of us who managed to overcome our genetic predisposition to use our right hands as our dominant hand can celebrate. It is National Left-Handers Day. I am left-handed and yes, I realize that I will probably die several years sooner than right-handed individuals who were born in the same year as me.

No one understands exactly why some of us are left-handed. Statistics show that only about 13% of the population is blessed or cursed with this particular trait. There is some reliable evidence that being left-handed is a result of genetics. Studies have shown that left-handed parents tend to have more left-handed babies than right-handed parents do.

Left-handers have a unique place in our society. While we are different we are not considered outcast. In fact, some believe the trait of left-handedness coincides with other great qualities such as creativity and leadership.

Don't believe me?

Gerald Ford Ronald Reagan George H.W. Bush Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all former Presidents of the United States and all left-handed. There's also a Who's Who list of musicians, astronauts, and celebrities that swing from the "southside".

But being left-handed does have its drawbacks too. For example, when a left-hander uses a weed whacker power tool, all the grass gets sprayed back on top of him. Or when a left-hander attempts to use an adjustable wrench the mechanism is often on the wrong side and spins the wrong way.

Oh, and we lefties run a greater risk of carpal tunnel syndrome because of the wonky way we hold a pencil when we write. We also have to contend with the imprint of the wire binding in a spiral notebook that makes an impression on our arms whenever we try to write in a notebook too.

Oh, and the reason a left-hander is more likely to die sooner than their right-handed counterpart? Almost every tool and device known to mankind was created for ease of use for right-handed people. That's correct, it's the "right man's tools" that are sending "lefty" to an early grave.

As far as I know, there are no particular celebrations planned for today. I don't think there will be discounts at fast food places and I don't believe a parade has been organized. Which is probably for the best since we lefties would probably start the darn thing at the wrong end anyway.

So, take a lefty to lunch today. Just remember to let them have the seat on the edge so you won't be banging elbows with them while you're trying to eat.


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