Sunday, March 11, 2012

Odd Man Out - Fear of the Number 13.

The Right Sequence.

I was on my way to Makati, the premier business district of the Philippines, to meet some friends one afternoon.  I have to ride a train of the Metro Railway Transit (MRT) traversing EDSA, the main highway in Metro Manila.  One station of the MRT is located at Pioneer-Boni where a lot of the call center offices are located.  Big real estate developments are on-going in that area.  One condominium development complex under construction is facing EDSA.  As the train is about to stop at the station, I noticed this unfinished building.  I got out of the train, went to a place in the platform with a better view,  took my digital camera out and shot the sequence of numbers painted on the facade of the building.  Yes, I know, the numbers represent the floors of that building.

Okay, kids, quick class... 14 does not follow 12.  LOL.  13 is missing!

Triskaideka.. what?

"Triskaidekaphobia" is the fear of the number 13.  In this time and age, you would be surprised that superstitious beliefs are prevalent and still practiced by a large number of people.  Take a look at this building for instance.  It's on a grand scale, isn't it?

I have to qualify my information.  I am just recalling this in my mind now.  I am no historian but I read somewhere that the fear of the number 13 may have rooted in a controversial time in history.  I cannot recall the exact era but the Knights Templar (related to freemasonry) were arrested and perhaps executed on a specific date that coincided with Friday the 13th.  Afterwards, most people consider the 13th as an inauspicious number linking misfortunes to this unfortunate event in history.  I browsed at Wikipedia, and there were several theories as to why the number 13 is considered unlucky, spanning several cultures and times in history - from the beliefs of the Early Babylonians relating to the Code of Hammurabi, to the 13th God Loki of the Norse Mythology, to the end of the world from the calendars of the ancient Persians, to the betrayal of the 13th apostle of Jesus Christ.

My question is, "how can this pervaded and affected so much the psyche of a lot of people that up to now the number 13 is feared and considered bad luck"?  My guess is that as time goes by, any unfortunate incident coincidentally falling on a Friday the 13th,  is blamed on the number itself.  The story of the arrest and probable execution of those knights were forgotten and only the bad reputation of the number remained.  This fear is further spread and perhaps preserved because of those Friday the 13th horror movies in the 80's.  Is pop culture partly to be blamed?  LOL.

Fear is the Result of Ignorance.

Was there ever a time in your life you feel left out?  Excluded or neglected?  There are even times we question our self worth, right?  These ugly feelings sometimes push us to fall short of our potentials.  How we effectively deal with these situations is essential.

I say, "change your mind".  When you change your mind about something, your situation immediately changes!  You can and you should take charge.  So what if you were left out?  Find other friends and jam.  So what if you were excluded?  Think like you want to be alone for a while anyway!  So what if you were neglected?  You are grown up now and can take care of yourself.

Think of this picture when such situation happens.  The whole thirteenth floor for crying out loud is expunged... taken away... removed... discarded... forgotten!  You know why?  It is because of an unfounded fear of the number 13.  Fear is the result of ignorance!  Don't fall prey!

Think happy and be happy!  SPREAD HAPPINESS instead!

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