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The Impact of Superstitions on Our Lifestyles

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Words: 1572 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Nov 15, 2018

Words: 1572|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Nov 15, 2018

When past experiences are good, the paths that individuals make for themselves are not negative, but when the past is not filled with good times, the beliefs created are negative. If choices made and beliefs formed are negative, then they affect the way we see ourselves, the decisions we make, emotional comportment and basically our whole lives.

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‘Find a four-leaf clover and have good luck forever’.

Superstitions, most of us grew up believing them. I mean ‘blow out all your birthday candles in one blow and you would get whatever you want’ to be frank who wouldn’t want that but you can agree with me that most of us humans are extremely naive. Good luck for certain amount of time or even good luck forever who wouldn’t want that? Superstitions are usually born into, majorly practiced, or newly found out, these newfound pathways can have its many advantages and disadvantages personally, nationally and globally.

Superstitions in Nigeria (national perspective) make people feel both self-conscious and also self-assured. Self-conscious because people feel that if they do not partake in a particular ritual or if they don’t follow a particular trend then they are not fit to be in a particular place or they cannot be who they are ‘destined’ to be. One of the most common superstition is ‘If you crossover a pregnant woman then her child would look like the person who crossed her’ this superstition makes people, women especially very self-conscious because they want their child to look like them and not anyone else or because they just don’t like the idea of someone crossing over them. Superstitions make people very weary of their surrounding and their environment because they have a fixed belief that if they do not follow a certain rule or practice then the ‘gods’ would be against them and their generations forever. These rules and pathways make people prone to making rash decisions because they are willing to do anything to please those around them or even to have a confident demeanor whereby the deceive; at least try to deceive either themselves and those around them with the emotional wall they have built for themselves.

Self-assured people believe they have a definite path set for their life so as far they follow that exact route that has already been set, then they are good to go. These ‘self-assured’ people are the most naïve because these are the ones that want good things to come easy and believe in the ‘good luck’ superstitions like ‘Itchy palms’ or ‘wearing your clothes inside-out unconsciously brings about a wealthy lifestyle’, these were superstitions that made Nigerians want to continue in that lifestyle, the wealthy lifestyle. Another example of a Nigerian superstition is ‘ spare the rod and spoil the child’ this one has to do with discipline, Africans believe that when children are physically disciplined , that they would not go back to their bad old ways and parents claim that it is done out of love but let us be honest, that really hasn’t helped that many children in the past because they are more capable of becoming delinquents who do not listen than those who are verbally disciplined with actual love and affection. Parents that do this think it is the right way just because that is what they were born into.

Global superstitions are the worst kind of superstitions in my opinion because they lead people astray, the beliefs formed move from one part of the world to another luring people into the unsure world known as superstitions. Zodiac signs are a type of superstitions, they are horoscopes that are used according to the month that you were born in, ‘June 21st-July 22nd are known as cancer’, these horoscopes tell you how your day would be, how you would fall in love or even tell you whether or not you would have good luck. These zodiac signs give people a sense of belonging and make people feel like they are making the right decision just because they are not the only one following the trend. These trends have made a very big impact to the lives of those around the world especially the light skinned, these are the people that believe in mostly luck and coincidences and not a fixed God.

Constellations are another example of superstitions, they use connected stars to explain Greek mythology; some of them are named after animals, common objects or even a character from old mythology. ‘Big Dipper, Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor’ these are examples of constellations that people believe in, they think that the stars would bring good luck or tell our future. These beliefs are started out in one part of the world and are sent around to other places because people believe it is a trend or they are really desperate for something. Superstitious behavior make people feel more confident and less self-conscious because they know that there are many other people around the world doing the same thing so they are not the only ones doing it whether wrong or right.

Suicidal effects; people would want to commit suicide because their zodiac sign is not the same as a celebrities own or they would never be as good as the girl/boy next door. Their zodiac signs might not always bring forth good luck or the superstition they believe in might not be working for them that point in time or that year even though they have been following the same trend basically their whole lives or at least since they found out about the trend. On the other hand, this can prevent suicide because the person finally feels like they belong.

In my own opinion superstitions are the easy way of life which really isn’t a good thing because nothing good ever comes easy. I believe that something good only comes your way when you work hard for it and not just out of a coincidence or ‘luck’, I personally do not believe in luck, there are some traditional superstitions that I might’ve followed when I was younger because I wanted to fit in or because I saw my friends doing them ‘ pick money from the floor, and turn into an animal’ but I later realized as I grew up that I do not need to fit in and I do not need to be like everyone else. Why not me being that trend setter or me being that person that people look forward to seeing or look forward to being?, why must I follow in the ways of others and in the path that someone else has set for me and not me setting the path for myself. Superstitions are just a means of easy escape from the world, these are things that clog the mind and divert our minds from the things that are really important, like why am I wearing a skirt today? I am wearing a skirt today because I feel like wearing a skirt not because my ‘zodiac sign’ told me that I have to wear skirts on Mondays and plaid on Wednesdays. I want to be able to make my own choices without the fear of someone judging me and telling me that what I am doing is wrong.

I believe that people should finally stand up for themselves and be who they want to be and not who someone tells them they have to be, and with superstitions and made up beliefs being a constant in our daily lives and on top of that, new ones arising every day, the chances of these things happening are very low because once we start in a particular way of life and get used to living that way, then it would be very hard for us to just switch up and start a whole new life. These already set paths are seen to be the good way of living or because your parents and generations past went down that path and it went well for them so they believe that it is destined to work for you. One day it might work one day it might not.

These choices we make can affect our daily lives, we might’ve been looking for a job for a very long time and a new job becomes available we would turn it down because our ‘eight ball’ or our ‘lucky dice’ did not tell us to accept the job. A popular saying ‘opportunity comes but once’ should be a drive to stop us from making these mistakes that we know that we would regret later or ‘good things come to those who wait’ this is a very true saying and I have experienced firsthand but without the help of constellations and all pushing me to do what I did. I would admit some of them are very fun to do like jumping or stepping over cracks to avoid breaking your mums back or just reading your zodiac sign just for the fun of it but when t gets too much it becomes a very big problem both for you, and those around you. It might become an addiction whereby you feel like that thing has to be part of your daily life and without it you feel incomplete .So in conclusion the best way to get a first hand on yearly decision making is the rational way.

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Works Cited

  1. Alcock, J. E. (2003). The belief engine. In Science and supernatural (pp. 3-18). Prometheus Books.
  2. Vyse, S. A. (2013). Believing in magic: The psychology of superstition. Oxford University Press.
  3. Gilovich, T. (1991). How we know what isn't so: The fallibility of human reason in everyday life. Free Press.
  4. Shermer, M. (1997). Why people believe weird things: Pseudoscience, superstition, and other confusions of our time. W. H. Freeman.
  5. Wiseman, R. (2012). The luck factor: The scientific study of the lucky mind. Random House.
  6. Gigerenzer, G. (2007). Gut feelings: The intelligence of the unconscious. Penguin.
  7. Kappes, H. B., & Oettingen, G. (2011). Positive fantasies about idealized futures sap energy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47(4), 719-729.
  8. Rozin, P., & Nemeroff, C. (2002). Sympathetic magical thinking: The contagion and similarity "heuristics". In C. A. Prentice & J. Stigler (Eds.), Culture and psychology (pp. 171-187). Cambridge University Press.
  9. Tobacyk, J., & Milford, G. (1983). Belief in paranormal phenomena: Assessment instrument development and implications for personality functioning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(5), 1029-1037.
  10. Van Lange, P. A., Rinderu, M. I., & Bushman, B. J. (2017). Aggression and violence around the world: A model of CLASH cultural differences in norms of aggression and violence. Psychological Inquiry, 28(2-3), 117-136.
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The Impact of Superstitions on Our Lifestyles. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-superstitions-impact-our-lifestyles/
“The Impact of Superstitions on Our Lifestyles.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-superstitions-impact-our-lifestyles/
The Impact of Superstitions on Our Lifestyles. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-superstitions-impact-our-lifestyles/> [Accessed 29 May 2024].
The Impact of Superstitions on Our Lifestyles [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2024 May 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-superstitions-impact-our-lifestyles/
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