What is a Superstition?
Have you ever had a black cat cross your path and someone say it will bring ill luck to you? Have you ever been weary of the number 13 or thought that the number 7 is lucky? Have you seen people wear many rings on their fingers made of special stones to ward off evil?
All these and more are mere assumptions that have been based on personal opinion and have gained popularity over a period of time. In a word we call them superstitions.
Superstitions don’t have a scientific proof or logic supporting them. They may have started as someone’s experience and an irrational fear and spread over generations. How many of the superstitions stated above would you have experienced personally?
The Myth of the Flat Earth
Civilizations have believed in myths to make sense of things. There was a time when it was believed that the Earth is flat and the many explorers who dared to discover other parts of the world would fall off the edge of the earth.
It is only after development of streams of science like astronomy that people concluded Earth is round and based on the scientific proof presented by Galileo, it was discovered Earth is indeed round and flat at the poles.
When the discovery of the shape of the earth came to light, Galileo was refuted. It was only after his death that people realized his genius and acknowledged his findings.
Superstitions and Science
Today we have a better understanding of things. Scientific and technological advancements have helped us explain many age old beliefs in the logical light. Though some of the practices (especially in medicinal arena) make sense, but the superstitions that we still believe in makes us gullible and puts us at the risk of getting duped.
It is this weakness that many so called “Babas” take advantage of and we spend our hard earned money only to ward off evil that doesn’t exist. People spend money on amulets and other things that are said to ward off the evil eye.
While the fear of unknown is understandable we should seek to explain them with logic rather than believe something that is nothing more than word of mouth. After all, we believe in superstitions that have only been passed on to us by someone else and we have not experienced it on our own.
In our everyday life we start to believe in certain things and follow it as a ritual if it brings us luck. For example if you give a test with a particular pen and you do well, you would attribute your success to the pen. Of course the fact that it is your hard work that has resulted in the success, takes a back seat and an irrational belief is born. This is probably how many superstitions may have been born, out of being ‘one time lucky.’
We must not let superstitions drive us or our loved ones. In villages it was believed that if you find an elephant’s hair you will do well in life. If hard work could be replaced by superstition, every mahout would have been a millionaire.
There is no proof of most of these superstitions being valid and true. We leave it up to you young readers to decide whether you wish to believe and succumb to the fear that comes from the unknown or break away from it.
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