Superstitions bring us together, not just during Halloween
One thing that people have in common is that a many of us believe in superstitions, or at least participate in them. Whether you are knocking on wood or avoiding black cats, almost everyone participates in some form of superstitions. Even though superstitions don’t have much proof of actually existing, they still affect our day to day lives by making us look to the future either positively or negatively.
Most superstitions have been around for centuries, originally being old wives’ tales, part of mythology, or folklore. However, most people probably have some personal superstitions, like rituals such as someone on the football team who has a lucky pair of socks, or a student who always writes with a lucky pen.
Whenever there are believers there are skeptics. These people may seem the most rational since superstitions have rarely any basis for truth, but they may actually be missing out. Superstitions help us believe that things may go our way just because of one sign we may see in the morning, and can improve our mood, according to the American Psychological Association.
The negative part about personal superstitions is most of them come from being stressed out. According to Exemplore.com, people who are desperate for success or that find themselves in a position they can’t sway, use superstitions to make themselves feel like it wasn’t their fault something bad happened to them, or think that performing certain rituals can help them succeed. Other reasons personal superstitions could come about is through worrying, needing control, or not liking the current state of ambiguity in your life.
The more well known form of superstitions are those that originated centuries ago and are very commonly believed. These are ones such as walking under a ladder being bad luck, throwing salt over your shoulder, and breaking a mirror causing seven years of bad luck.
One “ritual” that I perform the most is knocking on would, which is done to reverse a jinx. An example of this would be saying, “I hope this day doesn’t get any worse,” and then realizing you’ve screwed yourself over and need to knock on wood or else something grave could occur that day, like my death. How did rituals such as these come about?
Matt Soniak, writer for websites like Mental Floss and Scientific American, explained that a possible reason people have knocked on wood for centuries is that pagan Europeans would knock on the wood of their homes or trees to chase away evil spirits that were trying to cause them bad luck.
Superstitions are a common thread that bind us all together as humans, even though you may not believe in them. They have existed for centuries and are found throughout all cultures and folklore. They can help us to have a more positive outlook on the future, and make it seem like the cause of our misfortune.