Friday, August 13, 2010

Friggatriskaidekaphobia


Don't be scared of me- I'm only going to cause you to have a mild allergic reaction 

Today is Friday the 13th- did you stay home in bed? Are you extra careful when driving to work? Or did you not realise what today was until this very moment when you read this post. That was me, I didn't even realise that it was Friday the 13th until I saw a Facebook status confirming that has to be way this person is having such a bad day (to be honest, this person always has a bad day by constantly generating drama and having a negative outlook on life- but that's a whole other post). Even that didn't change my mind about the day.. it's just like any other day to me and for that I'm grateful.

Apparently, it effects an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States (which is almost Canada but not really but the stats still work to illustrate the subject) Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day" according to an article from Nation Geographic News. The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia which also happens to be the title of this post- not a word I made up by mashing the letters on my keyboard as one might assume.

Superstition is interesting and sometimes sad. I am sure that many of us, though we may not consider ourselves superstitious, have some type of a credulous belief or notion which we exercise in our life. I prefer to think of mine as "magical thinking" others may see it as a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder. I use to keep the volume on any device at a number that was even. I also knock on wood whenever I say something that I wish to maintain a positive relationship with. As I think about this now I am aware that as I have become more rational in my thought and less fear driven in life, I am less likely to give into these magical thoughts. Nothing bad is going to happen if I neglect any of these actions.

Another way that I see superstition and other credulous beliefs manifest in life is with black cats. Yes, believe it or not people still are effected by the notion that Black Cats are bad luck. I've seen it at the S.P.C.A. in Calgary and just finished reading an article out of Vancouver that reports the same (the inspiration for this post by the way). On my last trip to the S.C.P.A. to visit the animals I was surprised to see signs in the cat area informing potential families that Black Cats aren't "unlucky" and that they are just the same as any other cat in the adopting area. I could not get over that it was such an obvious issue that signs actually had to be posted to calm the nerves of adopting families. It breaks my heart that such an irrational discrimination would prevent animals from having the same chance of finding a loving home as their other colored friends. Tisk-tisk people, whoever you are.

With that being said, Happy Friday the 13th- I hope your day is just the same as any other day because really, if it were a special day wouldn't Google made a Google Doodle image for it's home page?


With that being said, do you have any superstitions that you believe in? Do you think Friday the 13th is a lucky, unlucky or just a run of the mill average day?

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