Essay Fears We Carry: Superstitions

Essay Fears We Carry: Superstitions

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The thought that dreadful things can happen to me when a mirror breaks or when he or she walks under a ladder is caused by age-old fears called superstitions. Superstitions come from many regions around the world, and are taught to us by our parents and our grandparents, they are passed down through the generations and are believed to be omens of things that can go awry. According to Webster’s Dictionary tells us that superstitions are a belief or way of behaving based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck. Because of my Dutch Heritage superstition has played a prominent role in my life from early childhood to now.
I did not know that what I may think as being polite and saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes, is a tradition that comes from superstition. Early Christians, dating back to 360 BC believed that if a person sneezed, he or she was getting rid of the evil inside. When one sneeze, and people say “God bless you” it is a way to ward off evil. The other belief was that when a person sneezed his or her heart would stop beating, and so people would say “God bless you” in hopes that he or she would not die. This is a superstition Christians have passed down, that has now become not only a tradition but a point in manners. My Dutch American heritage teaches that it is bad luck not to bless someone after a hearty sneeze.
As a ten year old, I once broke a mirror and was told by my distressed mother that I would have seven years of bad luck. When I asked her why she was so distressed, she told me that because in the old days people thought a mirror could hold a part of one’s soul; that it could be trapped by the Devil, also it could take up to seven years to get the soul back. This superstition was taught by...


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...ot bigger and the top was always left over. It’s the best one to me because, well you get to eat cake.
Friday the 13th is the pinnacle of bad luck, as Friday is a bad luck day harking back to the 14th century and the number thirteen was a bad luck number from thought to come from the last supper as there was thirteen people sitting at the table. However the two did not come together until about 1869, to form the trifecta of bad luck. Through the ages superstitions have been passed down and we have been taught to fear the unknown or to cross our fingers for good luck. It is the irrational fear we hold that cause these superstitions, and can completely alter how an otherwise rational person would normally behave. Even today in modern society, my Dutch heritage still holds onto these superstitions for an irrational fear of what might be to come without knowing why.

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