Today is Friday the 13th and I’m led to think about superstition. We all are somewhat familiar with it. It’s the rituals or the signs we interpret as bringing us good luck or bad luck. Here are some examples: “If your hand itches that means money is coming. If you walk under a ladder or cross a black cat, bad luck is on the way. If you put an umbrella up in doors, bad luck will come. If you pull a grey hair out, it will grow back with force.”
Superstition is so influential that people around the world are afraid of the number 13 so much that it affects how they build, interact, and live. For instance:
More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor.
Many airports skip the 13th gate.
Airplanes have no 13th aisle.
Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.
Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.
On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.
Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue
In France, socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
I hate to spoil the party or anger believers, but there is no reason to believe in superstition! Why? Because its just not rational. It completely does not make sense. Superstition falls into the category of a fallacy of false cause which suggest that one thing is the cause of another without adequate evidence linking the event and the cause. There really is no good reason to conclude that because you saw a black cat that that is the reason why your relationship came to an end last week. It could simply be that you suck. And people can not tolerate people that suck. So stop sucking so people will want to be around you.
There are reasons for everything; rational reasons. And if we try and seek these reasons out instead of resigning to unproven tales, then our world would make more sense and we may find that “We” are more in control of our lives than a broken mirror or a tall ladder. Like Neil DeGrasse Tyson says in the video above, with superstitious thinking, we will always be the problem.
Don’t be afraid or even too happy. Live your life. Find the reasons. Be the reason.