Myths, Superstition and the Left Hand
14 August 2015 by Marketing Team
Yesterday the world celebrated the 24th annual Left Handers Day, where people basked in the glory of being the minority. Around 13% of the world population are left handed, something which is thought to be genetic. But why have the left handed been punished or picked on for the majority of their existence?
The first place of blame is with the Devil. According to ancient scripture, whilst in heaven, Lucifer sat comfortably to the left hand side of God. Once banished, he became evil with the left hand side soon following suit. During the Middle Ages, all left handed people were considered possessed simply because the Devil was a lefty, a trait also used as proof of being a witch! Furthermore, Christianity uses only the right hand to offer blessings as well as using the right to make the sign of the cross.
Myths also played a part in the preference to the right hand. For instance shields were always held in the left hand to protect the blood pumping section of the heart, therefore making the right hand sword wielding and most important. This is also why we shake hands with our right; the gesture would display a right hand free of weapons.
The icing on the cake? The Latin word for left is Sinister…
Unfortunately for lefties, these beliefs and acts, though no longer noticed or carried out, have led to superstitions. Some throw salt over their left should, an act which dates back to the Romans and designed to purge evil spirits. Others say stepping out of bed onto your left foot will result in you having a bad day. Nearly all of us when married also follow tradition and wear our wedding bands on our left hand…. Something the Romans began to ward off evil spirits associated with the left hand side!
But fear not lefties, the future is not all doom and gloom. Many people have led very successful lives:
- Valentino Rossi – Six time MotoGP champion
- Winston Churchill – Prime Minister
- H.G Wells – Author
- Buzz Aldrin – Astronaut
- John D. Rockefeller – Businessmen
- Henry Ford – Founder of Ford
- 50% of the FJG Marketing team!
- Paula Fowler – FJG Managing Partner
Thankfully, being left-handed today is rarely an issue, bar a few superstitions. Apart from writing of course, something which can prove very tricky with the presence of ring binders, spines and any ink which requires time to dry. It is certainly something to be proud of so tune in next year for the 25th anniversary of Left Handers Day.