It’s funny. I don’t really believe in superstitions–not in any sort of a way that would get me to change my behavior significantly. I don’t go out of my way to avoid black cats, for instance. And I don’t have any real hangups about breaking mirrors or walking under ladders. But I do have a few things I do out of habit.
The biggest one is probably knocking on wood whenever I say something that I don’t want to come true. “I’ve never been in a car accident,” for example. If I make a statement like that, I just can’t help looking for something wooden to knock on. Failing that, I knock on my head.
Why in the world do I do this? When bad things happen, I never go looking for a time when I forgot to follow this routine. I don’t believe that it wards off anything at all. Whatever’s going to be will be in those cases, and it’s not like the universe is watching me, waiting for me to stumble in my knock on wood ritual, just so it can dump misfortune on my head.
At the same time, I’m a religious person. I believe in the power of prayer–which I do regularly. And so my unbelief in superstition isn’t casual. It’s doctrinal.
And yet there I am, knocking on my head each time, just like an idiot.
Some of it is probably due to low level Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have some other routines that I regularly follow, and I just don’t feel right if I don’t do them. For example, checking my alarm three times before I go to bed used to be one–something I no longer feel compelled to do, since I just tell my smartphone when to set my alarm, and for some reason that’s enough different that I don’t need to check it to make sure it’s set.
But I don’t know if the superstitions I somehow follow (even though I don’t believe them) are things other people do too, or if its something that’s more on the unique-to-Bryce side of things. (Much in the same way that’s it’s hard to know if the way I perceive color is the same way you perceive color. How do I know that the color I see as red isn’t the color you see as green? Or am I the only person who wonders those things, too?)
In any case, superstition seems to be an area where it should be easy to find out what other people are doing: just ask. So, all you people out there, are you at all superstitious? If so, how? And do you really believe it, or do you just follow it without believing anything.
Inquiring minds want to know . . .
(And I just can’t write about this topic without including this video:)