16 March 2012

Calmness Without Superstitions

My recently departed father-in-law was not a superstitious person at all.  When he was a child, he lived in a rather grand house in Australia and had a reasonably good education.  His parents were religious, but not necessarily superstitious.

In exploring the family history, I contacted the current owners of the house a while ago, which is now part of a school.  I was told that during renovations a few years ago, a child's toy was found underneath the floorboards.  The people at the school wondered if the toy had belonged to my father-in-law, so I showed him a photograph of it.

Although he was a man with an excellent memory and could accurately tell you how much something would have cost in 1935, or the characteristics of someone he knew in 1932, my father-in-law did not recognise the toy as ever being his.

The toy was rather roughly made by hand.  My father-in-law was an only child of relatively affluent parents and his toys were mostly of high quality.  But I think I have found the answer as to why the toy was under the floorboards.  It was probably put there while the house was being built in the 19th century.

Superstitions can seem quaint when we look at them though the eyes of reason.  Life can be so much calmer, happier, safer and more rational when it is without superstitions and other unnecessary fears of the unknown, and the unknowable.

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