Few of us truly understand how directly beliefs can affect the spiritual, emotional and physical health of ourselves and our world. Sometimes this is positive; for example, one might believe that her experiences as an international mover-and-shaker are interesting enough to share in books. Those books are then read worldwide and make even the lowliest of people stop before swallowing the whole bottle of pills and promise to dedicate their lives to being more fabulous, which improves the entire global community. However, things don’t always go so nicely. A person might believe that those without enormous trust funds don’t deserve basic human rights and then do his level best to fuck up the lives of others once he becomes Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Since what we believe has power, it’s important to think critically about what we think about whatever we’re thinking about. Too frequently we just follow along with the ideas our friends and family, the media or taxi drivers pass on to us. Often we just buy into what are called “commonly held” beliefs without ever questioning them, and that’ll end up leading to nothing but trouble: from small hassles within our own households to devastating world wars and natural catastrophes. It takes time and energy to think critically, of course, but as usual, I’m here to help. Let’s debunk a few assumptions that most people seem to just take for granted as truth and examine their possible consequences.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
There’s no need to worry about doctors showing up at your house unnecessarily: most doctors don’t make house calls, so if you really don’t want to see one, just don’t go into the surgery. Of course apples are tasty and good to eat, but we need to stop perpetuating the fear of doctors stalking our homes because it scares little children who sometimes have to walk past hospitals on their way to school.
Breaking a mirror means seven years of bad luck
A mirror is simply a fancy pants piece of glass that reflects whatever you put in front of it. Breaking a mirror has no more negative affect that breaking a champagne flute: if you step on a piece, you could cut your foot but other than that, it’s no biggie. If you’re really worried about seven years bad luck, instead avoid getting married.
Waking a sleepwalker could be dangerous
First off, sleepwalking doesn’t exist: the person is pretending. Why do you think you always find your husband sleepwalking his way to the whorehouse? The next time you encounter a sleepwalker, throw a lit match at them and you’ll see how quickly “waking” one can actually prevent a dangerous situation.
Dropping a penny from the Empire State Building can kill a person
This belief encourages people to throw away their money and perhaps without it, the economy would be in better shape. If you want to kill a person on the sidewalk below, the best bet is to drop a bullet out of gun while aiming it at their head.
Goldfish have a two second memory span
Why do you even care? What are you doing to your goldfish that is making you obsess over how well they remember things? The truth is goldfish have wonderful memories—I personally have met goldfish who can remember the Korean War in great detail so just watch yourself.
Eating a dictionary can improve your vocabulary
The ink used in dictionaries can stain one’s teeth and cannot be properly processed by a human’s digestive system. To improve your vocabulary, read more books and do more crosswords.
Unfortunately, I can’t be there with you all the time and if I have ever promised to be, I’m guessing I was probably drunk at the time. Please use these examples as models to question all of your beliefs. Hold tight to the solid, helpful ones and dump the others. Many local communities have salvage centres where you can drop off dumb ideas that can be recycled into jewelry and household goods which can then be purchased on Etsy.