Superstition

            In the essay “Superstitions: The Irrational Beliefs That Influence Our Behavior”, the author writes about how people believe that doing different things can cause them good or bad luck. The author thinks that the most famous superstitions is the belief in good spell, many people believe that executing special rituals can provide good luck, and superstitions are passed from generation to generation. The author points that “The most common groups of superstitions involve objects that can bring good luck, behaviors that can influence luck, and actions that can cause bad luck.”

            The most famous superstitions are that the belief in good luck charm. A lot of people keep particular objects because people believe that can let them avoid dangerous and keep them safe. For example, some people have a special shirt or key chain to be theirs good luck charm.

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            In addition, many people believe that executing special rituals can provide good luck. If people had watched a professional sport competition, people might be found that some players will take a series movements before their turn. For example, some of basketball players will take particular number of bounces before making a shot. Also, while waiting for a pitch, some of baseball players will adjust their equipment to a special position always. However, those of players believe that those particular actions will bring a good luck for them.

            At last, some of superstitions are passed from one generation to next generation. For instance, elder people might tell their children that breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder, and opening an umbrella inside a house will bring bad luck. The children will follow it even those things cannot be proved.

            If people travel through all of the countries on the world, people will find that all of the countries have their own superstition. No matter what kind of culture they are and what kind of religion they are. From my viewpoints, I think the superstition always relate with three aspects which are personal psychological hint, technology degree, and national culture.

            First of all, the most people follow the rule of superstition because the personal psychological hint, even they don’t believe those superstitions. How the personal psychological hints influence people to believe superstition? It is hard to explain by words on paper, but I can use my personal experience to explain it. Last year, I was traveling to Beijing with my parents. When we were traveling to Forbidden City, we saw a huge stone in the square of Forbidden City. Tourist guide said, “That stone is a lucky stone. If people touch the stone, people can get luck for five years.” Thus, a lot of tourists was touching that stone, included my parents. I was laughing when my parents were touching the stone because I thought all of the tourists were cheated by guide. “It is just an ugly and ordinarily stone, I can find a lot in the wild.” I thought. However, five minutes later, the sarcastic thing happened. Like other tourists, I touched the stone too. Because when I saw more and more people were touching that stone, I was getting uneasy. I was getting worried that everybody gets lucky except me, and I thought “May be the legend of the stone is true, and I want to touch the stone just in case.” Thus, the psychological hint influenced me to become a superstitious people just in five minutes. The psychological hint always relate with superstition by this way.

            Second, the superstition also relate with technology degree. In ancient times, the level of technology degree was very low; thus, some of natural phenomena made the ancients confused, and they couldn’t give a reasonable explanation for those natural phenomena. Therefore, the ancients produced and used superstition as an explanation for natural phenomena. For instance, the ancient Chinese believed that the moon eclipse happened because the god’s pets were eating the moon. Thus, ancient Chinese made the bonfire and screamed to the moon, so the pets could be scared and stop eating the moon; therefore, people could keep the moon. However, nowadays in China, nobody will do it when the moon eclipse happened. Because the technology improved, people now understand what was happened for the moon. It is how technology degree relates with superstition.

            At last, national culture relate with superstition. Because different countries have different culture background, theirs superstition are totally different. For example, in America breaking a mirror means seven years bad luck, but in China only means you have to buy a new one. Moreover, numbers thirteen is an unlucky number in America, but in China number thirteen just a regular number. Besides, number eight is a regular number in America, but in China number eight is a lucky number because the pronunciation of eight is rhymed with wealth in Chinese. In New Hampshire, most of Chinese students and Taiwanese students use number eight to be their registration number for their car because the culture background influences them, and they believe that this number can bring them luck.

            In conclusion, the superstition relate with personal psychological hint, technology degree, and national culture. Some of the superstitions might be disappeared in the future because the technology is improved. On another hand, some of the superstitions will still be kept in some countries because those superstitions already become a part of culture.

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