Thank goodness it's Friday! Well...maybe not if you're superstitious - it's Friday the 13th! Did you know that there were three of those this year, (February, March, November), and that this only occurs every 11 years? Or that any month that begins on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th, and that there is at least one of those every calendar year? I did a search to see what's what about this superstitious day...
Other tidbits: 13 witches in a coven, 13 knots in a hangman's noose, and the back of the dollar bill is loaded with thirteens: 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 stars above the eagle's head, 13 arrows in his claws, and 13 leaves on the olive branch. Fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia, and folks afflicted with this malady include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and Napoleon.
There are a couple of ideas about the origin of the superstitions, one involving Scandinavian folklore and paganism, the other involving the Knights Templar - read more HERE or HERE or do your own search, if you need more background or fun facts or whatever...
Whenever I'm confronted with a superstition of any kind, I always sort of shake my head in wonder. What is it in the psyche that trips so many people up on things like this? Here's my view of the broader picture (understand that this is MY view, and not necessarily anyone else's):
Faith and fear are opposite ends of the same spectrum - faith at one extreme end, fear at the other. Faith is stronger and more powerful, but doesn't get nearly the attention. Why? Because fear is more sensational! To illustrate: Is there really more bad news than good news on any given day? Probably not, but the good news is only interesting to those in the immediate vicinity of where it happened or who it happened to, while everybody wants to know about the bad stuff - the dirty laundry, the scandal, the crime, the natural disaster.
Over the years/decades/centuries, there have been various minority groups in various areas of the world who have been given a bad name or labeled a certain way. Did the bad name or label apply to everyone in the group? Probably not, but a vocal few troublemakers became the focus, and the focus broadened to include the entire group.
It seems to be human nature to have a morbid curiosity about negative, "scary" things, and - because we aren't sure what to do about them or even if we can do anything - we give away our power to the fear. Since what we focus on expands, the world becomes a scarier place, and we feel less secure in it.
In my humble opinion, if we really took a collective step back and realized the good in the world, and focused on that, we would have much less to fear and would ultimately be much happier! Additionally, it's been my experience that when you "face the lion in your path" (i.e., the thing you fear), it vanishes/resolves with minimum effort and/or resistance.
And that's the end of my little stump speech for the day, I'm going to get off my soapbox now and sit behind my sewing machine - 'cuz that's what I do! Have a FABULOUS Friday the 13th! Go walk under a ladder or two, step on a couple of cracks, and grab that black cat in a big hug when he dashes across your path!
Love your take on Faith and Fear! I always have fun with Friday the 13th and usually have good things happen to me. Fear is avoidance in my opinion and if you face whatever is causing your fear, like you said, it will vanish into thin air. Have a great day!
Posted by: Peggy | November 14, 2009 at 07:09 AM