Writing Prompt: Superstition

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

This song takes me way back. I was five years old when it came out, but a teenager when I really understood the meaning of the words. Isn’t this the life of humanity? We believe in things we don’t understand and because of this, we often suffer.

While some may not see the relevance of this song today, it is still apropos to our time. Many are profoundly superstitious, often calling their superstition by some other name to cover up what it really is.

I am attracted to the notion of belief and what that means to and for humanity. I am struck by the need of many to believe in even that which is not provable or probable. We all do it in one form or another, yet so many of us can’t see how volatile belief can be. It births and kills all at once. It is beautiful and ugly. It is always relative to individuals or small groups, often carried by only one or a few, or infecting countries whose beliefs are then eclipsed by whomever sacked them that particular century.

Beliefs morph and grow, some dissipate; always, however, they stay with those who carry them and then, sometimes, turn into superstitions that can last for centuries doing some good, but mostly harm when forced on the people of any given culture.

As I gather my thoughts on the nature of belief which sometimes transforms into superstitions, I hope to find a way to thoroughly dissect belief and what it has done for (or to) humanity, if anything. Has belief been more helpful than destructive? Is belief a creative force or a debilitating force? Is it both? I don’t know. But belief seems to be, in many ways, a guiding compass for our existence–for better or for worse. This guiding force more often than not gives birth to superstitions of all kinds. Today, the superstitions many carry are more sophisticated and cloaked in intellectual babble that attempts to conceal the fact that the superstition is merely a well developed unprovable belief.

Superstition by Stevie Wonder

Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders bout’ to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass,
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then we suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way.

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,
Rid me of the problems, do all that you can,
Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin’ strong,
You don’t want to save me, sad is my song.

When you believe in things you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way, yeh, yeh.

Very superstitious, nothin’ more to say,
Very superstitious, the devil’s on his way,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass,
Seven years of bad luck, good things in your past.

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way, no, no, no.