Monday, August 13, 2012

A Few Kind Words for Superstition

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In the essay, “A Few Kind Words for Superstition,” Robertson Davies suggests that superstition is relatively harmless and a good thing. In this essay, there will be two examples given to support the suggestion on behalf of Robertson Davies, that superstition is indeed a good thing. Superstition takes four forms and these forms are Vain Observances, Divination, Idolatry and Improper Worship of the True God. Superstition is harmless and created by individuals. In the essay, just two of these superstitious forms will be shown. Vain observances will be demonstrated with the help of professional athletes. Idolatry will be demonstrated with examples from within the class room. There are many different examples that can be shown, but these examples are seen all the time and are extremley common within their specific groups. Day in and day out, both athletes and students do what they have to do like playing a game or writing an important exam. Superstition could be the determining factor in the outcome of ones performance, whether it be their skill on the ice, their knowledge in the class room, or a boost of confidence. These arguments will be defended by examples to exhibit the suggestion by Robertson Davies that superstition is a good thing.

Vain observances will be the first example looked at which provides proof of what the author is saying. On television when you see Nomar Garciaparra, who plays for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball and who is arguably one of the best short stops in the game, has a superstition. Every time he goes to bat, he takes a minute to do his little superstitious thing he does. He will pull his batting gloves on tight approximately two or three times, on both the top and bottom wrist section of the glove.


He then will take a pitch. If he does take the pitch, and it is either called a ball or a strike, he will step out of the batters box and go through the whole procedure again. Another example is Patrick Roy who is arguably one of the best goaltenders in the National Hockey League. Every time Roy skates from the bench to his goal crease, whether it is in the warm up or after the intermission, Roy will jump over every line on the ice such as, the center ice line. Roy does this all the time. Both these athletes have their little superstitions that will give them an extra boost of confidence. These specific things make superstition a good thing because the athletes have done their thing that will give them a mind set that the will play well.

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Idolatry is the second example that will be used to prove that superstition is a good thing. You’re in an examination room and you’re just sitting there, watching as a student comes in and sits down. All of a sudden the student pulls out what looks to be a rabbit’s foot. A rabbit’s foot is a symbol of luck for some people. Hopefully the student has thorough knowledge of the material he or she has studied. All in all we will never know if a rabbit’s foot is some sort of a lucky charm, but many individuals tend to think that a rabbit’s foot is good luck. Who really cares about the student’s rabbit’s foot because the main reason for the charm is to give that student confidence, and makes the student feel like they will do well on their exam. The point is that the rabbit’s foot is not putting any other individual in danger or any other kind of harm and now with a confidence boost, this student is feeling good. Let it be.

Certain people have certain superstitions. To some, superstitions may seem a little unusual and to others not unusual at all. With the examples specified, the superstitions put all sorts of confidence in the persons. People with superstitions do not bother people that do not have any superstitions, so people without superstitions should leave people that do have superstitions alone. Confidence is a great thing to have and if one can find that confidence through superstition, then superstition is a good thing


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