In Honor of Left-Handers Day: Legendary Lefties
This one goes out to all the lefties out there. Today we celebrate you.
Since the beginning of time, left-handers have gotten a bad rap. Centuries ago, left-handedness was viewed as inferior and evil, and while these views have since changed, the everyday life of a lefty can still be tricky. In a world where spiral bound notebooks and scissors pose a daily threat, it’s a feat just to get through a day unscathed. Seriously though, with southpaws making up only 10% of the population, the roster of legendary lefties is pretty remarkable—which speaks to the ability of left-handers to rise to the challenges of this right-handed world and overcome.
Check out these 10 legendary lefties:
- Leonardo Da Vinci: One of the brightest minds in history, Leonardo wrote in mirror script, which means he started on the right side of the page and moved to the left. It’s not known for certain why he did this, but some theorize it could be because he was left handed.
- Aristotle: The Greek philosopher made significant and lasting contributions to nearly every aspect of human knowledge—from logic to biology to ethics and aesthetics. His surviving writings were deeply influential, and written with his left hand.
- Mother Teresa: The Roman Catholic nun devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the world. She won the Nobel Peace Prize, was canonized as Saint Teresa, and was left-handed.
- Lewis Carroll: It is often said that the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was naturally left-handed—and suffered severe psychological trauma by being forced to counteract this tendency,
- Joan of Arc: To be fair, it’s not 100% certain whether Joan of Arc was left-handed or not; born in a time when left-handedness was considered a curse, some historians believe she was only labeled as such to discredit her name. That said, she was frequently depicted carrying a sword in her left hand, and handwriting analyses indicate that she likely was, in fact, a leftie.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The prolific Austrian artist and composer whose operas, concertos, symphonies, and sonatas profoundly shaped classical music did it all with a dominant left hand.
- Helen Keller: Blind, deaf, and left-handed, literally nothing could hold Helen Keller back. Her disabilities were no match for her brilliant mind, outspoken personality, and philanthropic nature. Talk about overcoming.
- Jim Henson: The amazing puppeteer actually wore Kermit the Frog on his right hand, operating the puppet’s hand with his left. Coincidentally, Kermit was portrayed as being a leftie as well.
- Nicola Tesla: Inventor, polymath, and genius Nikola Tesla, was born left-handed but later taught himself to become ambidextrous. Proving yet again there was nothing he couldn’t do.
- Mahatma Gandhi: Revered the world over for his nonviolent philosophy of passive resistance and imprisoned multiple times, he often went on hunger strikes to protest the oppression of India’s poor. Gandhi fought social injustice with his heart and his left hand.
Pretty amazing list, right? And these are just 10 of the hundreds of legendary lefties in the world. As you go about your day today, stop and think about all the incredible contributions these people have made. And all that you can do with the online resources at your fingertips.
All those in favor of rising to the top in solidarity, raise your left hand.