Superstitions

I am not a superstitious person. I don’t believe in the supernatural. No amount of rabbit foot rubbing is going to bring me good luck, nor do I consider spilled salt a bad omen. I don’t believe some vengeful invisible God will send me to heaven if I fast on high holidays, punish those who transgress laws written by elites thousands of years ago, or guide me toward victory in sports – there is no force in the universe powerful enough to get me to exercise competitively.

I must admit I have one or two rituals that matter to me, which reinforce the importance of some moments. I get it, codified rituals are effectively superstitions, and that is how religions ultimately get built, but these are just personal little events which I vest with a sense of importance. I don’t expect my kids to follow my lead, but rather to discover their own.

Most of my moments happen as I get ready for the day ahead. On days when I need luck I wear my wedding ring, because its one of the few things in my life that has been a pillar of strength. On important business days I use a particular aftershave. It reminds me of my father, because I will always associate business with him. For over forty-five years he has used the same pen to sign his contracts, so I’m not the only one with personal rituals.

The oldest one I have happened again this morning. I believe – well, I would like to believe – that blowing a loose eyelash fulfills a wish. My mother explained this to me when I was a child. Ever since then I stop, and think about what mattered most to me. And then I wish for something big. Health, success and general happiness, a good exam season when i was younger, a deal to work out nowadays. That sounds like prayer, but somehow the eyelash is the only messenger I’ve entrusted with this responsibility.

Looking back, I’d say it’s worked out well about half the time.

I made a big wish this morning, and I hope it goes my way. The only other superstition I have is not telling people what I wished for. It might not come true.

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