Are You Superstitious?
The other day on the National News a top news anchor was interviewing the Mayor of London about the opening of the Olympics. I was surprised to hear him interrupt himself in the middle of a sentence to say, “Knock wood” and then continue with what he was saying!
Before you place a judgment on his action (as I did) or deny having any superstitious tendencies yourself, take this short quiz:
- Have you ever avoided walking under a ladder?
- Have you ever felt uncomfortable when a black cat crossed your path?
- Have you ever entered a house by one door and left by a different one?
- Have you ever said “Knock wood” or done it?
- Have you searched for a four leaf clover, found one and saved it for all time?
- Do you feel a little trepidation when the 13th lands on a Friday?
- Do you get excited when finding a horseshoe?
- Have you ever opened an umbrella inside a house?
- Have you gasped when you broke a mirror, tossed salt over your shoulders, picked up a penny lying in the road, or wished on a wishbone?
Yep, you’re superstitious.
But don’t worry; you’re not alone. According to recent research, this article says, “Two-thirds of us can’t get through the day without some kind of superstitious gesture.” This author calls it “magical thinking” and claims superstitious rituals “give us a sense of control, of purpose, and help us cope.”
As I was writing this post I heard a mysterious clawing, flapping sound coming from our basement which my husband, upon investigating, said was a bird that had fallen down our chimney. “I’ll have to open the flue and let him out,” he said. My knee-jerk response: “But then there will be… a bird in the house!”
Maybe I’m superstitious. Or maybe I’m just hedging my bets. I didn’t let my husband see me in my wedding dress before I was walking down the aisle in it, had something old, new, borrowed and blue on me, tossed the bouquet, flung the garter and saved a layer of wedding cake for our first anniversary but that was tradition wasn’t it? I learned about the origin of these rituals many years after our happy day. I don’t know if I would have observed these “traditions” had I been aware that they were wedding superstitions.
Do you think superstitions are silly or do these rituals give us something of value? Are you superstitious?
photo credit: Peter Kaminski