I like experimenting, trying things I’ve never tried, testing one thing against the other – whether it be conducting little social experiments, buying the strange looking packet of dry fish from the Asian section of the supermarket, or giving the superstitious options on society’s menu a really good shot. But in my mind, three strikes and you are out, and I’ve now done three pretty long experiments with fortune tellers and “make a wish” superstitions. In each of these experiments I gave the superstition the benefit of the doubt and gave it a full go, yet not even the placebo effect brought an ounce of truth from these experiments.
One was an old fortune teller on the streets of Amsterdam, “Baba”, who in 2006 sat me on a park bench and he told me I was having dilemmas about two men and gave me dates for marriage and children. At the time I thought I was having dilemmas only about one guy, but my imagination stretched it to include another guy I was traveling with. I can’t remember all the details but I’m pretty sure those dates included marriage at 28, and kids at 29, and… (thankfully) NOTHING! Even if I only recently turned 28 I think I’m safe to say Baba was wrong.
The second was an “intuitive life guidance” chick in Sydney who among many career and life projections about marriage to a human rights lawyer when I’m 33, and kids at 34, said I’d have a summer romance in Bondi that would start in September with someone just a couple of years older than me. It’s now November and… nope – NOTHING! Well, nothing of the nature she described.
The third strike happened yesterday. I have been wearing one of the “Fita do Senhor do Bonfim” ribbons (in photo above) since a friend wrapped it around my wrist in Brazil in February 2009. “Three ties and three wishes – when the ribbon comes of you wishes come true…”
The ribbon after almost two years:
For almost two years the ribbon on my wrist got thinner and thinner, uglier and uglier. I covered it up for photoshoots and weddings, playing out this superstition (of course for the fun of it more than anything else). Granted I made some pretty big wishes (that I still think will come true) but the ribbon fell of yesterday, and… NOTHING!
That’s three strikes.
So while I still have my own slightly superstitious beliefs about how personal intuition can sometimes be connected to some universally connected source of intuition (through “the power of intention” or “law of attraction” or “prayer”), I will definitely think twice before bothering with another experiment that something kinda annoying like a ribbon, or paying someone else for their “intuitive” time…
Goodbye superstition, hello personal agency.
While there are some societal structural limits on what I’ll do with my life, these little experiments have reminded me that most human-created superstitions are bull****.
No one can know your future better then you do.