I know, I’m not who you were expecting. This is generally Maria’s AI day, but she’s got super important business to take care of today and needed someone to fill in.
Let me begin by saying I’m not a superstitious/woo-y person. However…
When I get sick, the first thing I crave is chicken noodle soup. It can’t be helped. I know there’s actually nothing behind it besides fluid intake, but in my mind it makes me feel better. A glass of water doesn’t make me feel better, even though it’s accomplishing the same thing. Why? Because when I was little, every time I got sick people told me “eat chicken noodle soup – it’ll make you feel better.”
I avoid cracks in sidewalks. Not because I think anything is going to happen to my mother’s back, or that it causes a change in luck (good or bad), but the old superstition stuck with me for some reason. Silly childhood superstitions, especially the ones that come in rhyme-form, get so embedded in one’s mind that they have the potential to carry on. In this instance, it’s more of an OCD for me.
It bothers me sometimes that, as a rational person, I am still capable of irrational thinking. I don’t actually think chicken noodle soup makes anyone less sick, and I don’t suggest it to anyone when they feel sick, but I know it makes me feel better for the few minutes after I’ve finished the bowl. I don’t believe in luck of any sort, but a childhood game relating to superstition stuck with me. I know I’m not the only one plagued by bits of nonsense sticking to memories.
What do you think of old wives’ tales? Do you have any silly practices that you’ve carried with you since childhood? By bringing them forth from our own childhoods, no matter how unknowingly, are we likely to pass them on to our children? In doing so are we doing harm to future generations of rational people?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.