The curiosity of left-handedness and creativity

What do I have in common with Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Paul McCartney? We are all left-handed, a trait that is only shared among 10% of the entire population of the world. That makes me feel pretty damn special.

Okay, just being left-handed does not make me special, but it does make me different than the norm. Being left-handed in a right-handed world created the need to overcome challenges at a very early age.

I believe left-handed people are divergent thinkers, looking at a problem with a bird’s eye view. When the world is built for the right-handed, we must look for ways to adapt to achieve the goal. Whether it be writing or feeding ourselves, problem solving starts early for a southpaw.

Though my mother told me she tried to make me be right-handed, apparently my stubbornness also showed up at an early age.  Read here my post: Have you ever been called stubborn?

Being different because I’m left-handed is okay with me. Different is what I embrace on the regular. For example, if Hubby and I see the same scene, such as a heated discussion between a couple in a grocery store, we may both notice the two people arguing, but for me, it doesn’t always end there. If the interaction catches my attention long enough, I will take that moment in time with these two strangers and complete their story in my head, and will do so before we’ve loaded the groceries in the car. I’ll create the characters, the situation, the plot, and the outcome, and all in just a couple of minutes as to why these two people are arguing in a very public place. The what, why, and how suddenly seems important for me to know. Even if it is all made-up BS, there is a story in every situation. All we have to do is look around. There is fodder everywhere.

And since it’s my story, of course there is a fantasy element involved. Obviously, this has more to do with me being a storyteller than being left-handed, but I can’t help but think that creativity and left-handedness might be connected.

Of course, not all left-handed people are creative, and not all creatives are left-handed. However, the study of the connection between left-handedness and creativity goes way back in history. In ancient Greece, left-handedness was considered to be linked with special talents, or to be blessed by the gods. In the Middle Ages, being left-handed was seen as having been touched by magic, or even sorcery.

Thanks to a recent study, scientists have now discovered a possible explanation into the curiosity of left-handedness, and they have targeted the gene TUBB4B.  Apparently, in left-handed people, this gene has a different shape than in the right-handed population. While that scientific study is interesting, and offers concrete facts that can be measured, I’d like to think that being left-handed is more of a gift than just the biological shape of Tubby (gene TUBB4B’s nickname! 😊) And, if the shape of Tubby can dictate left-handedness, then can genetics dictate the level of creativity one is born with as well? Hmm….

Maybe they go hand-in-hand (no pun intended) because left-handers have had to look at the world a little different from as far back as we can remember. Some of the most simple tools people use every day can challenge a left-handed person. Rulers and measuring devices of all kinds, spiral and D-ringed notebooks, molded-for-the-hand scissors, directions on learning how to knit, crochet, or play a guitar, are most always designed with the right-handed in mind. Oh, and let’s not forget every coffee mug and measuring pitcher that only has printing on one side!

Apparently, the cute, comforting, and witty sayings are only for the other person to see.

 However, all those challenges have made us left-handers more resilient, more determined, and have forced us to seek solutions to a problem that the right-handed world has never had to face.

And speaking for myself, this focused learning has made me look outside the box for answers, for direction, and inspiration. Maybe that is why so many left-handed people tend to be creative thinkers, and sometimes that creative thinking comes across as not being present, or being absent-minded, when that’s not the case at all. Read here my post: It’s not absent mindedness. I’m in my elsewhere mind.

I did a little research into some of the more famous left-handers in history. Leonardo DaVinci, Babe Ruth, Aristotle, and Jimi Hendrix were all left-handed. I was pleasantly surprised to see who I rubbed elbows with, or, should I say, didn’t rub elbows with, because we were both eating with our left hand! Ta-ta-ta-da!

Okay, bad joke. But the list is rather impressive, don’t you think?

My sister and her husband came for a two-day visit last week, which means they had to travel 400 miles across the state one way. It was a short, but wonderful couple of days spent with family. In the midst of one of our conversations, my sister brought up that I have always looked at the world a little differently. For a millisecond, I felt my inner-child hackles raise up at being referred to as different, but I quickly slammed that door and replied with a very confident statement: “And I have used that uniqueness to my advantage.”

“Yes you have, little sister,” she says lovingly. “Yes you have.”

Had I not looked at the world a little differently, Mark of the Faerie may never have been told, at least, not by me. And there again lays the question. Do left-handed people tend to be more creative because we’ve had to look at the world through different lenses? Do we really use more of our right-brain hemisphere where the creativity, perception, and spatial understanding take place?

My intention in writing this post was to confirm that being different is not only okay, it is preferred. It is our uniqueness, our differences, the quirks that make us who we are that I hope you all can all embrace.  However, if you were not fortunate enough to have been born left-handed, well, sorry. Not everyone can be special, but everyone can be unique.

These are the two left-handed items that I presently own: A ruler that has the words ‘Left-Handed Genius’ printed on it, starting with the one-inch mark on the right side. The other item is the only coffee mug in the house with the printing visible to a left-handed sipper. The printed word is ‘Believe’. Hmm, is there a message here? Maybe I’m smarter than I think I am. 😊

I will leave you with this very thoughtful quote. Though I wish I could say I had written this, the author is unknown. I like to toss it out whenever a right-hander gets uppity with me.

“Everyone is born right-handed. Only the GIFTED overcome it.”

I love to hear from you!  Please reply to this email and share what makes you different, how you feel about that, and what your gift is that makes you beautifully unique. And the next time someone refers to you as different, or odd because you look at the world through another set of lenses, or with a fantastical perspective, just say, “Thank-you!”

If you liked this newsletter, please feel free to share!

 And one last request: To all the readers of the Mark of the Faerie series, your authentic review is more valuable than you realize. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts, (on whatever site you leave book reviews, though Amazon is preferred) on this historical, romantic, fairytale adventure!

Remember, magic only comes to those who believe.

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