Superstitions Essay, Research Paper
SUPERSTITION I met a friend the other day that was really upset and worried. She seemed to me to be on the point of tears. Asking her, I knew that what she was almost hysterical about was the fact that someone had given her sister, as a gift, an expensive kitchen knife. From what I could tell, the sister hadn t made a big deal of it, but my friend was certain that a disaster was sure to follow. Apparently, to her, the gift of a knife would cut short the life of the recipient, or cut off her good luck. She was so convinced of this that she was wondering out loud if the gift giver was incredibly ignorant and thoughtless, or a secret enemy intending great harm to her sister. Most people would be amazed or even amused at this friend of mine. They might think of her as an ignorant, primitive and powerless superstitious women. But unfortunately, they themselves could be superstitious. Superstitious people are not only those who believe in magic and charms but also who believe in luck. Thus, there are 2 types of superstitious people depending on their thoughts, believes and self-esteem The first type of a superstitious person is that who believes that the world is, literally, filled with magic. Whenever anything happens, he would immediately relate it to terms of magic, not to simple physical causes or random coincidence. The motion of the stars controls his personality and mood. To him, the universe is alive and is surely interested in him; thus, he must keep on its good side. He considers the money he spends getting the supernatural spirits on his side, or at least not against him, to be a worthy investment. He believes in everything; good luck charms, the evil eye, ghosts, astrology and demon possession are all as real to him as the sun in the sky. Save your breath trying to convince him otherwise. He will regard you as either hopelessly arrogant, or even under some evil influence, trying to push him away from the truth .
The second type of a superstitious person is that who would be offended if someone called him superstitious. Perhaps he doesn t believe in magic nor in charms, and he would never give away all his possessions because he expects the end of the world tomorrow, but he blows on the dice before he throws them. He might wear his lucky shirt when he is going to sit for an exam. He would most probably consult his horoscope before going on a flight. Although he may not believe in evil eyes and so on, he knocks on wood when he praises himself on his good luck or worth. It is very hard to tell this person s motivations in these beliefs, but most probably he is trying to play on the safe side. Thus, most people are superstitious, even those who think that they are not, might somehow be. Studies show that most, if not all, Egyptians have at least few believes that can be classified as superstitious. These studies show that the real cause for being superstitious is the feeling of weakness and insecurity of people; people need an external power that would help them and give them hope. This external power is represented in magic, charms, luck, and many other superstitions. When a man looses on a gambling game, he would refer it to bad luck, not to means of random coincidence or probability. Another cause of the spread of superstitions is that they are hereditary; whatever the parents believe in, their posterity would most probably believe in too. Consequently, superstitions are considered a neutralizing agent in the process of conflict among generations, as they are means of flow of ideas from one generation to the other helping in bringing their points of view together. This explains why superstitions had been universal and continuos throughout past generations and will continue on and on for the future ones.