Friday, June 13, 2008

Fear Not – Today Is Friday the 13

Superstitious people everywhere will be avoiding walking under ladders, black cats, and opening umbrellas inside, because today is supposedly the worst day of the year.

Today is Friday 13 – supposedly an unlucky day for those who believe in such things.

The number 13 is seen as bad luck, not just on the calendar, but everywhere. In my building, as in many, there isn’t a 13th floor. The numbers on the elevator go from 12 to 14. Technically, the 14th floor is the 13th, but they have labelled it 14, so that those unlucky enough to call that floor home, don’t fear for their lives.

I don’t think believe in superstitions. I was even born on a Friday 13, so in many ways 13 isn’t a bad number to me.

Still, fear sometimes scares us straight. Someone did a study showing that because people fear Friday 13, many are extra cautious on these days, so people are less likely to get into accidents on Friday 13.

Call me cynical, but those who take extra care on Friday 13 in fear deserve to have something bad happen to them. It’s almost like these individuals are hoping something bad happens, so they can justify their fictitious superstition.

That’s what superstition really is – fictitious. It is all in our imaginations.

We use our creative imaginations all the time to explain the unknown. The ancient Greeks believed thunder and lightening occurred when the Gods were mad, and fighting amongst themselves. It was thought that the world was flat, until Christopher Columbus sailed across the world, and didn’t fall over the edge. We tell children about Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy to explain Christmas and how baby teeth fall out and why.

We still have magical mysterious imaginations, which make up stories when we just aren’t sure. Look at all the conspiracy theories surrounding the assignations of John F. Kennedy, the landing of man on the moon, even how the government monitor’s all telephone calls to listen for potential terrorists.

It is the same with the number 13, and Friday 13. Superstitions are fictional stories we use to explain the unknown. Bad things happen all the time, maybe Friday 13 was created as a day to explain how some of these bad things happen?

One thing is certain, it is easier to get around on Friday 13, because many people call in sick and take the day off, hiding from their own unknowns. Stay scared and in hiding, I hate traffic!

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