Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the Thirteenth


Well folks, it's Friday the 13th.

Does that mean anything to any of you? It means nothing to me. Never has.

When I was a kid I didn't understand all of the hullabaloo over things like this. Why certain numbers are supposed to be unlucky and others blessed.

I thought I would try to look it up. I went to Wikipedia, admittedly not the most reliable or accurate source of information, but it should serve to see what Friday the 13th is all about.

Some quotes from Wikipedia's Friday the 13th entry that I found interesting:
A Friday occurring on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in English, German, Polish and Portuguese-speaking cultures around the globe. Similar superstitions exist in some other traditions. In Greece or Spain, for example, Tuesday the 13th takes the same role. In Russia, the unlucky day is Monday...

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia (a word that is derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Παρασκευή, δεκατρείς, and φοβία, meaning Friday, thirteen, and phobia respectively...

No historical date has been verifiably identified as the origin of the superstition. Before the 20th century, although there is evidence that the number 13 was considered unlucky, and Friday was considered unlucky, there was no link between them. The first documented mention of a "Friday the 13th" is generally listed as occurring in the early 1900s.

and finally,

"It's been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do."

Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they are simply unable to get out of bed when Friday the 13th rolls around. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17 million people are affected by a fear of this day. Despite that, representatives for both Delta and Continental Airlines say that their airlines don't suffer from any noticeable drop in travel on those Fridays.

A British Medical Journal study has shown that there is a significant increase in traffic-related accidents on Friday the 13ths.

Again, Wikipedia isn't known for it's accuracy, just it's convenience, but with such an unimportant subject as this, we'll just go with it, OK?

It seems that Friday the 13th is much ado about nothing. I felt this way, even as a kid. Seems I've been pretty much right all these years.

This was the first time I've tried to even look up more information on the subject.

Just for the record:

- I have no problem walking under a ladder either, unless it's a really small ladder. I'm a big guy and in those cases it's just easier to walk around them.

- I do not freak out, nay, I really don't care at all if a black cat walks across my path. I just hope the poor critters don't get run over when wandering about the streets.

- Spilled salt does not bother me in the least. I do not throw a pinch over my shoulder to ward off evil either.

- Most of all, I DO NOT believe that if your palm itches, money is coming your way. I would be insanely rich if this were true. As it is, the only money that has come my way were paychecks I earned, and loved ones giving me money on special occasions like Christmas, birthdays, and whatnot. If this one were even remotely true, I'd be in the news every year with That Rich Dude from Mexico, Bill Gates, and the Sultan of Brunei.

Most disappointing of all to me, are that many Christians are just as bad about things like this, having their own versions of phobias and numerology based fears.

Some think that the number 7 is a blessed number for various reasons, one being that God created life on earth in 7 days, and is therefore inherently a good number. But God created life on earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th, so that can't be the reason.

There are other uses in the Bible for all kinds of numbers, 7, 3 for the Holy Trinity, but as much as I've read the Bible over the years, I've never seen mention of US being directed to use numbers that are by their very nature, blessed.

You can go into Christian book stores and buy what I consider heretical works such as "Bible Code" books and such where numerologists have tried their hand at divining deeper meaning from the scriptures simply using the numbers of letters in words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, well, you get the picture.

For the record, I neither buy nor believe in this kind of thing, especially in regards to the Bible.

I believe that God said what he meant. Using Prophets and other men anointed to the task of writing the words God spoke into their spirit, for us to read and know.

Maybe my belief in this makes you roll your eyes and say, hey, you sit here and tell us numbers mean nothing other than to count with, yet your believe that God himself spoke through certain men to tell us what he wanted us to hear and learn and live?

Yep. That's exactly what I'm saying.

I'm a big boy now, and I make my own choices, what to do, and what to believe in.

As do we all.

8 comments:

The Rock Chick said...

It's Friday The 13th again? I feel like we just had one of those! I wrote a Thursdat Thirteen (#13, actually) about all the 13 superstitions and such! I don't buy into all of that stuff either and actually, in my research, there's quite a few very good 13's too!!

I saw one of those Bible Code shows on Discovery Channel once. I have to say, it was interesting, but it did seem like a huge stretch!!!!

Jessica The Rock Chick

katherine. said...

yeah but c'mon...it is just so much fun to say!

Triskaidekaphobia

JAM said...

I do agree with that, triskaidekaphobia IS a cool word. Plus, Lucy used it in A Charlie Brown Christmas when trying to diagnose Charlie's issues, so it's even cooler because of that.

I guess in short, that I'm trying to say I'm not a very supersticious person.

Hammer said...

Like you I don't believe in Numerology or such nonsense.

I have enough to worry about with walking under ladders or spilling salt ;)

Qtpies7 said...

The only fear I have room for is Spiders. And that fear is so huge, there is definately no room for more!
I wonder if Friday the 13th is the reason not too many ladies have rsvp'd to my ladies night out tonight? That would be a bummer if that was the reason. We are going to have a blast anyways.

Lady G~ said...

My parents are superstitious. So I grew up not knowing any better. UNTIL, I got saved. I was blind, but now I see... :o)

thethinker said...

Nothing bad has ever happened to me on Friday the 13th. I'm not really a superstitious person.

photowannabe said...

God said it, I believe it and that's good enough for me....all the other "stuff" just messes with your mind.