Tag Archives: Nobel Prize

Superstition

I wish I weren’t superstitious. I hesitate to say things are going well for fear I will rile fate. You can’t be too careful. That’s what I think.

I don’t know where this comes from. I never heard my parents speak of superstition. I am the only one in my family, as far as I know, that throws salt over her shoulder if it gets spilled. I even throw other people’s spilled salt over my shoulder, just to protect us all.

I try not to step on cracks in the sidewalk, despite the fact that my mother’s back has long since been in danger of my causing it to break.

What am I afraid of? I often walk away from the TV if a team I hope will win is playing. I am afraid, just by the fact that I am rooting for them, they will lose. The jinx of Marie! Beware!

Is superstition inborn? Is it learned? Is it taught? Is it part of a global, or cultural, or societal subconsciousness? Did it skip my parents’ generation like red hair that shows up in grandchildren half a century later after hiding stealthily in the DNA undetected?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. I wonder if any scientist or philosopher has researched it. It would be hard to prove scientifically, I suppose, that exact link on the DNA, a wayward chromosome or some little twist in the double-helix connection that makes a person superstitious. Maybe with better microscopes or some futuristic MRI equipment, a doctor will discover it.

Imagine a Nobel Prize given to the person——oops, I hope I didn’t just jinx her/him—who discovers the superstition twist. You know, just as soon as s/he discovers it, documents the findings, retests with double-blind studies, redocuments those findings, and reports all of it in an e-book for us to download instantly on our i-pads or Kindles, there are going to be a hundred or more companies trying to find a drug to cure it, thinking the first successful one will be richer that those who find an inexpensive solution for male pattern baldness!

But, has anyone ever thought that there might be a positive side to superstition? One that would refute the need for a cure. One that would make superstition desirable.

I’m thinking now of those teams I mentioned earlier, particularly the Atlanta Braves and all the athletes at the University of Georgia, as well as every USA team that is Olympics bound. I’m pretty sure they would be glad I am superstitious and don’t have drugs to cure it. I am almost certain they would want me to walk away from the TV every time they’re up to bat, kicking a field goal, doing flips on the half-pipes….

Even if I am wearing my lucky t-shirt.

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