Effects Of Superstition Essay, Research Paper
Everyone has at least one superstition that they follow, whether they will admit it or not. Whether it?s from a certain religion, or a legend passed down from their ancestors. It?s in our human nature to come up with something to believe in, however obscure and ridiculous it may be. Many of these superstitions can dramatically affect a person?s life. Looking at the following examples will show what effects can come from trying to stay on the good side of the supernatural.
Friday the 13th is thought of as the most unlucky day of the year. Some people take it so seriously they develop a morbid irrational fear called Paraskevidekatriaphobia. There are over 21 million people affected by this in the United States alone. Many people will avoid driving and ships will not sail. Others won?t even go to work or eat in restaurants, and you wouldn?t dare schedule a wedding on any Friday at all. Everybody knows about Friday the 13th and the story of it being cursed, but some will let it get in the way of their normal everyday functions.
One of the sadder and more pathetic superstitions is the belief that a certain small, furry animal is possessed by evil spirits. Just because of the color of its fur, people will see a black cat and try to get as far away from it as possible. Over the years people have figured out certain rules that determine whether contact with the cat will bring good luck or bad luck. Rules like, if a black cat crosses their path, it will bring bad luck, unless of course they immediately walk 12 steps backwards. If a black cat walks towards them, it?s good, if it walks away; more bad luck will come upon them. This superstition can cause people to either not own a cat because of it?s color, or if they have one they must take special care of it. Some very mixed up people will steal black cats on nights of full moons and especially on Halloween. They use these poor creatures for special sacrifices, hoping to release evil spirits or whatever it is they think will happen. It is just sad to be prejudiced against any living thing because of its color.
Being superstitious does not mean only avoiding bad luck, but trying to receive good luck as well. To do this many people will try to obtain certain items that supposedly possess luck or may protect them in some way. One of the most popular of these items is the four-leaf clover. As the poem says:
One leaf for fame,
One leaf for wealth,
And one leaf for a faithful lover,
And one leaf to bring glorious health,
Are all in a four-leaf clover!
People believe having one of these plants will help them be successful and also help them avoid evil beings. Another good luck ?charm? is the horseshoe. If a person hangs one above a door its sacred crescent shape will protect them from evil. There?s another popular superstition that can cause people to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. It is the belief in the lucky rabbit?s foot. The most luck will come if it is the left hind foot; the animal was killed on a night with a full moon, and by a cross-eyed person. Though the feet that most people carry are small front feet, thousands of people still carry them around everyday to ward off evil forces.
There are thousands of superstitions, some of them crazier than others. It would be impossible to follow all of them, so why bother with any of them? Though there are statistics out there about there being more car accidents on a Friday of the 13th day, that?s probably because people think about it so much that they don?t pay attention to what they need to be doing. This can happen with any superstition that is taken too seriously. It is true that strong belief in superstitions can have major effects on a person?s life, but people create their own bad luck by paying so much attention to them.