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Some Thoughts: A Superstitious Dilemma

posted Mar 29, 2011, 8:05 PM by Golden Knight

Posted in Uncategorized

By Chris Ferro


My father wakes me up at 6:00 A.M every morning. The following routine is always the same: I lazily slide out of bed, take a shower, comb my hair, brush my teeth, get dressed and wait for my mother to do the same. She enjoys being fashionably late, so in the meantime I pack my schoolbag, feed my dogs, surf the internet for a few minutes and occasionally hound her to get dressed. She eventually does, and we rush out of the house and attempt to make it to school and work on time.

As hectic as this may sound, nothing here is out of the ordinary for me. I’ve grown accustomed to this madness. In our society of excessive advertisements, overblown phones and computers, and multifarious video games, one element stays constant. People will remain superstitious regardless of the time period. The example of my daily routine is something that I cannot live without. There’s something to repetition that causes a certain fondness within the self. The same friends, the same teachers and the same school all provide an environment in which an individual can relate to. Anything contrary or contradictory to the norm is treated like a social pariah. Thus is the harsh truth of life:  If you’re not “normal”, then you’re the problem.

To quote a sticker on my friend’s refrigerator door, “Normal is only a setting on a washing machine.” People may think that they are casual and calm, but something tends to lurk behind the façade. It is the same reason why a devout Catholic may be a Nine Inch Nails aficionado or why a “Gothic” person might adore Mozart. There’s something to the human psyche which necessitates a blending of values and traits. The subtleties of people’s personalities help distinguish them from the crowd. Perhaps, for this reason, human beings also tend to be inclined to the supernatural.

Reality is boring. If taken at face value, life could be described as a series of events before one dies. In actuality, life is much more than that. Superstition is a way of verifying this fact. The discovery of something beyond human nature or intelligence, a “supernatural” force, is the goal of any individual seeking an alternate reality.

Ultimately, it is in the nature of human existence to believe in something higher than one’s self. Something as simple as a routine or a habit connects one to the supernatural. By doing one thing a specific way, people think they can change their fate. In my case, if any portion of my routine was altered in the slightest, I would be worried. Changes put people on edge. That is why it is easier to assimilate with the crowd rather than stand out from it.

Here is the rub: Is it natural to believe in superstitions? Horoscopes and Ouija boards may give some people a connection the “spiritual realm” but ultimately, they were manufactured and designed by humans. Their very purpose is to attract customers. Rather than celebrate the individual, horoscopes place people in categorical boxes based on astronomical sign and date of birth. The various descriptions of personality types, relationship matches and daily fortunes appeal to the individual searching for meaning in his or her life. It provides comfort in an increasingly uncomfortable world.

One of these days I’m going to attempt an experiment. I will walk under ten ladders, have six black cats pass me by, spill five salt shakers and carry three umbrellas into an enclosed area. In this unnatural world, the truth may be more shocking than a lie, so I would be not be surprised in the least if that day turned out to be one of the worst in my life. I would be equally undisturbed if my day remained the same as any other. Now, if I could only find the nerve to try.