Don’t start a journey if a black cat crosses your path. If someone sneezes, pause and drink water before leaving out the door. If somebody says the name “salt” or “oil” you should not go out. A woman must not wear white or black color once she is married. Do not eat onion and meat on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; include other auspicious days in this list of days. A widow’s presence at a marriage is a bad omen. Do not enter the kitchen and the place of prayer if you are menstruating.
These are some of the superstitions that prevail around me. Some of these are funny and tolerable while others are downright disturbing. There may have been some logic to a few of these, but I believe rest are just that — superstition. Then why do people follow these myths? Forget people, why do I ask my family members to drink a glass of water when they are on their way out, and someone sneezes behind them. The simple reason is that I am afraid for their lives. The people who established these superstitions were, I believe, very clever. They have connected almost every belief to a horrible accident. The result of avoiding a belief that has been around could be very dangerous, they say. Who would want to risk their life — or their loved one’s life — to test the accuracy of these sayings?
To tell the truth, I have stood tall against most of the superstitions. I find it rather funny that we should select days when to eat what. I wonder if our god would wait to see if a person ate an onion on a Thursday or not! I choose to believe that he has other important problems to worry about. If I were a god, forgive my audacity, I would be angrier with such hypocrisy in one’s behavior. Either you eat something or you don’t; how does your selection of days to eat a thing affect me or the humanity? Then again, the clause that follows the non-believer of this superstition is that if you eat an onion on the “forbidden” day then you will be prone to losing all your prosperity. Who would want to put their money — hard-earned or otherwise — on the line to test the authenticity of this theory?
The roots of such superstitions are deep in our souls. These words have been scribbled on our hearts and not following these takes more than courage. It takes a lot of self-belief and confidence. I do not think that anyone tried to examine the facts because — let’s face it — research takes time while nodding and passing on a belief need only a head and a tongue. Most of us are good followers and gossipers. Some of the superstitions, I think, were based on only logic and circumstances of that time. For instance, if someone calls you from behind, you are prone to be distracted; hence, this may not be good if you are going out. However, connecting it to a sure danger seems a little farfetched.
State a simple fact (true or false), and comment that going against it would bring you bad luck, it would make you lose all your money or you would die, and voila, you have got yourself a belief that many people would obey out of fear. I think that following a few beliefs that do not hurt humanity is fine because it adds a little shade to the life but forcing others to follow a belief or hurting someone’s feeling for a superstition is outrageous. We are an evolved species, and we must learn to follow our logical brains and compassionate hearts, instead of obeying superstitions blindly.
This post is in response to the daily post prompt: Superstition
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