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Superstition refers to any belief or practice which is explained by supernatural cause and effect, and is a contradiction to modern science. Some people believe more in superstitious happenings than others, because they have been brought up to believe in them.
To reduce such beliefs, spreading awareness is the best way. The following methods can be helpful to reduce religious “blind-faith” and to develop a rational-minded population:
1. Instead of airing shows that breed unfounded fear and make even some of the highly educated to believe in a supernatural existence, better do shows which highlight some of these points:
? If you believe too much in superstitions, you can become a slave to them.
? There is no scientific proof to superstitions.
? It is insensible to twist facts to suit theories, as is so conspicuously done in the case of fibs.
? Understanding where superstitions come from can help you think rationally.
? They cause unnecessary anxiety, which distracts the brain , which in turn produces results that aren’t up to the mark, and the Ferris wheel ride starts all over again.
2. Children are the most affected party ,especially those who have been brought up to bow to the will of everyone older than their own age-group .Awareness programs, live demonstrations, and the much-needed education (even for the uneducated elders of some places) would definitely help.
3. Newspapers ,books ,weekly magazines and other sources of media can be utilized to explain relatable bits of psychology (how the human brain functions ,detects patterns etc.).
4. Most people believe superstitions to be complete nonsense while others live their lives avoiding black cats, looking for four leaf clovers and avoiding mirrors. Peer influence is another way to reduce ,or even better ,completely eradicate these blind faiths.
People suffer from many ailments ,including psychological ,emotional ,and physical diseases.
Many of these are psychosomatic in nature ,much like the problem of Dr. John H. Watson from the “Sherlock Holmes” books. Stress induced diseases are caused by many unfounded fears too, which make people want to be extra-careful ,diverting their attention .Nobody in their right minds would ever even think about looking in a broken mirror, if it were to bring bad luck .Half of the world’s population would be gone in a year, because somebody heard an owl in their neighborhood ,or a dog howled at them in the night time ,or maybe the clock that wasn’t working suddenly chimed.
Such misbeliefs cause failure ,diseases ,and in some cases the subjects are tormented to the point of insanity and death ,which leads to even more misbeliefs .The reduction and eventual eradication of these beliefs can be beneficial for the health of the society.
Instead of telling kids that if they step on a crack ,their mother’s back would break ,they could be told not to step on one because they might get hurt .Because if they never step on a crack ,they’ll never know that it is not the truth ,and so they would tell the same story to their own kids .Worry is the key to superstitions .People worry about everything from food to clothes ,from health to studies , and of course about death .People also worry about worrying too much .This results in the formation of some stories ,edited by people and believers ,and by pranksters too .Almost every religious celebration mentions death , indirectly implying that as long as someone believes ,they’re eternal .But if they stop believing , they suffer and then they die a horrific death .After that ,sometimes they become ghosts and supposedly visit our world to take revenge ,or that they’re trapped between two worlds because they stopped believing ,and are sometimes even said to haunt their loved ones .But these are all results of the fears that are instilled in us while we’re still kids.
We fear death ,we fear everything unknown to us .We can improve .But sometimes we just don’t want to .We don’t want to believe that something that went wrong was all our fault .On the other hand ,some people even take the blame of other people’s mistakes ,so that the person does not feel disheartened .Here lies the difference between them .Some of us are too scared (or are brought up to be so) to admit our mistakes and make amends .And when there is nobody to blame ,we blame the date ,the day ,the weather ,the birds ,and many other creatures and elements which aren’t even completely known to us .And sometimes their properties and origins remain undiscovered, resulting in worse effects .Proper evaluation requires studying. And for studies , people need to be open-minded and accept ideas that have a proof ,not just hypothesis based on myths and twisted facts.
There is a dire need to make changes to how the society thinks ,how people react ,and what their needs are. Because when people need something ,they try to get it by any and every means possible ,even if it means believing that sacrificing your newborn daughters and giving large sums as dakshina would result in the birth of a couple of baby boys. Nobody can influence how somebody thinks ,unless the “somebody” wants to change .But the ideas thrown at them can change what people want ,even if it is only a slight change .Our choices are ours to make ,and they must not reflect our fears ,rather they should reflect our hopes .As Socrates said ages ago, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy ,not on fighting the old, but on building the new”.
Therefore ,reducing superstition can be difficult but it is certainly not impossible. Because sometimes ,change is what we need.