“Future endeavors with superstitions attached to them have the same probability of coming to fruition that anything else does. Either they’ll come to fruition or they won’t. Had they been anything more or less, the world would be a much different place.”
-Excerpt from upcoming short story “Howl of Freedom” by Angie Verhoeven

Are you superstitious?

Even if you don’t believe in the traditional superstitions like Bloody Mary, black cats crossing your path or the bad luck of breaking a mirror, chances are you still are. If you’ve ever said “bless you” to someone after sneezing to prevent their soul from coming out, that’s a superstition. If you’ve ever said something like “I’m crossing my fingers,” that’s a superstition.

What makes us believe in them so much when scientifically or even religiously (for the most part), there’s very little foundation to justify them?

To understand this phenomena better, it first needs to be defined. The textbook definition of a superstition is a belief that is not based on logic or scientific thinking but rather on supernatural forces or elements. For example, there’s no rhyme or reason for crossing your fingers bringing you good luck. If there had been, nobody would ever be unsuccessful at anything. Yet we still do it and/or say it. Why?

I believe that most of us are superstitious (even if to what extent varies from person to person) for the same reason we put faith in the universe or God. We want and need a sign of hope that is not ostensible. For that matter any belief that can’t be scientifically or logically defined, the inception always stems from hope. We need some feeling of optimism to keep going, especially when the road ahead looks arduous.

But is it always a good thing? I think it’s perfectly acceptable as long as we utilize superstitious beliefs for positivity and optimism. Saying “God bless you” is a good thing regardless of whether it has any connection to a soul leaving a body or not. Similarly, there’s no harm in crossing your fingers regardless of how effective or ineffective it really is.

When it becomes a problem is when superstitious beliefs turn into an obsession. It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket and the same thing goes with superstitions. The moment they become the predominant motivation or lack thereof of everything you do, it seizes to become a benefit and transforms into a hindrance. If you break a mirror and tell yourself day and night that you’ll have seven years of bad luck, you’ll become miserable regardless of the actual outcome.

My final takeaway would be to utilize all superstitions for good luck. Say “bless you” when someone sneezes. Cross your fingers. Wish your friends and family good luck as often as you can. If you have a particular ritual for good luck, like starting a fire at a camp site or something, go ahead and do it. All of these beliefs are positive and bring forth hope and are not causing any harm to anybody.

But forget about things like stepping on a crack or Friday The 13th. When such events or days occur, just go about your normal day hoping for the best. Putting any more stock into does indeed bring harm whether it’s pyschological or otherwise.

How do you feel about superstitions? Do you believe in them? Why or why not? If you do believe in them, do you agree with the points made in this post? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

Hi, I'm Neel! I'm a writer (fiction and poetry), a journalist and currently working in the advertising business. I'm also a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago.
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