I’ll put my hand up – I’m superstitious. I don’t walk under ladders, I make a wish if I have a loose eyelash, I would be distraught if I broke a mirror, and I’m always on the lookout for shooting stars or a lucky penny.
On the other hand, black cats crossing my path don’t bother me (I actually think they bring me good luck – so maybe I am superstitious about that one after all), but I don’t have a problem with number thirteen or carry a rabbit’s foot in my pocket. And I definitely don’t think if I stand on a crack, I will break my mother’s back.
So obviously I pick and choose my own superstitions. In fact, my family has actually created a new one – unless someone else out there does it too. Please let me know if you do. Travelling under a tunnel, I shout Hey-ho, while holding my breath. If I manage to get to the end without taking a second gasp of air, I’ll have good luck for the rest of the day. I know – it’s very odd. But now my children’s friends and their families do the same thing. We’ve passed on our superstition.
Superstitions are our belief that something completely unrelated can affect our futures. But when you think about it, they don’t make sense.
Superstitions started centuries ago. People have always wanted to understand and control the world they live in. Years ago, they didn’t have the scientific knowledge we have today, and so they sought meaning in everything around them. If an owl was present when a hunter caught a fox, the hunter might think the owl helped him. This could be a self fulfilling prophesy because every time he saw an owl, he would be filled with confidence.
I know someone who wears his ‘lucky’ underpants when playing football, because he thinks they will make him play better!!!
I think superstitions are a way to make us feel less helpless. I know it doesn’t really make sense, but I’ll still avoid ladders, and if you see me in a tunnel I‘ll be shouting Hey-ho while trying not to breathe.
Each superstition has its own origin. In my next post, I’ll share some with you. If any of you have any strange superstitions, I’d love to hear about them.