Should superstition rule our lives?
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One summer while staying with my grandparents, I came inside from playing and went to my grandmother's room to get cleaned up for dinner. I had on an Atlanta Braves baseball cap, and when I walked in the bedroom, I tossed my baseball cap on the bed. I was finishing up washing my hands when I heard my grandmother screech from the bedroom.
"Who threw this hat on the bed?" Knowing my cousins would just rat me out if I lied and knowing that you did not lie to my grandmother, I fessed up.
"What's the big deal?" I thought she was mad because I made a mess or something.
"Child, don't you know it's bad luck to put your hat on the bed?"
I didn't know. I was 10 or something, so I knew about "bad luck." I carefully avoided cracks in the sidewalk and was very careful around ladders and mirrors. This hat thing was new to me.
She mumbled something and handed the hat back to me. I worried for days about that bad luck. Did it still count even though I didn't know it was bad luck? How long did the bad luck last? I mean, a mirror got you seven years. Or was there a set consequence like stepping on a crack breaks your mother's back?
Was there a way to get the bad luck off me? Crossed fingers? Someone drawing an 'x' on my back? Knock on wood? What was the deal with the hat curse? It drove me crazy for a while.
So, I figured I would monitor what happened to me and look for the bad luck. I tried for a couple of days and then I got distracted by life and forgot. Did bad things happen to me after the hat incident? Probably. I don't remember now. But I do remember the anxiety I felt wondering and waiting for the bad luck to appear.
I'm sure things happened that I attributed to bad luck at the time. I'm sure because I know that we determine our own point of view, which in turn determines our reality. If you look for bad luck you will find it every time. The universe just works that way. Bad luck symbols and superstitious beliefs all have their basis in something not so otherworldly.
Christians don't like Friday the 13th because of Judas. Vikings because of the God of Deceit. Miners freak out if you put new shoes on the table. Romans believed evil spirits transferred from your hat would haunt the person upon whose bed you put it.
So while it is not quite scientific proof, it does show that the so-called bad luck symbols we fear and respect so much are often ground in antiquated beliefs and customs.
There is positive and negative energy. The trick is live as much in an equal balance that you can. To do that, you can spend your time controlled by the agents of bad luck. It takes a bit of effort, but with some thought and planning and diligence, you can avoid most of the big ones.
Of course there are so many, you may find that you avoid breaking any of these bad luck rules simply because you are spending so much time researching them you don't have time to do them. Or you could live your life with a glad heart, open to the positive experiences that may come.
It sounds kind of idealistic, but what is the alternative? To live in fear and trepidation of circumstances beyond your control. The very nature of luck implies that the person to whom it is visited upon has no say in how it comes, good or bad. Except through these rather arbitrary actions that we hope in vain will stave off the black cloud and lead us instead to the pot of gold.
My grandmother's reaction was fair. She was just trying to protect my peace of mind. There are so many things that can become bad omens or be connected to bad luck that it becomes more burdensome and confining to live in fear. It is much easier and more fulfilling to chose to believe in the universal law of attraction. Rather than worry that something I may or may not have done with or without the knowledge of it's negative history, it is better to give out to the world the positive energy you hope to receive in return.
- Mariel Blake writes a weekly column for The Daily News.