Sunday, February 02, 2014

Sports Superstitions and our Self-Oriented Nature

One of the things that strikes me with sports is that it's almost unavoidable as a fan to avoid having some type of superstitious feeling. Whether it's a feeling that failure to wear certain apparel certain days, sit in certain seats, or do certain things might impact the game.

This year it struck me going to an NFL playoff games the past two years I had this odd sense going to this year's game. I thought, last year when I went the team lost...will the team lose again this year since I'm hear again?

It's a silly thought. How could the game outcome be based on whether or not I was attending the game. As if I, sitting in the crowd could be a superstitious indicator of the game and the team's performance.

The team won the game (bunking the internal fear that my attendance predicated the game's outcome).

Yet, the fact that such a thought even crosses my mind baffles me. As much as I think I understand my place in the world, the universe, time, it's surprising how quickly we can flip into thought processes that truly speak to our self-centered nature. The sense that it is really ourselves who determine outcomes to games surely sneaks into other areas of our lives.

While some people seem to go through life easy-breezy without a care in the world there are others (myself occasionally included) who place over emphasis on their own involvement or impact on eventual outcomes. I do think individuals make a difference, but I sometimes wonder if I in a similar type of superstition overvalue my impact in other areas. Perhaps it's my consumption and purchase choices and the impact on global economies or companies. Perhaps it's in a professional environment.

If nothing else, I think there's so many things that people (myself included) carry some degree of stress or burden about, assuming that their contribution (small or large, perhaps even where we go, what we do, when we do it) will ultimately make a factor in something else, almost unrelated.

I don't propose a life unattached and unconcerned with our place and role in the world and lives of people. But I do propose that perhaps a little honesty, awareness, and relaxation -- and that what we wear, eat, or do in preparation and during "the big game" probably won't make much of a difference in the outcome of the game. That is, unless we're actually the one's playing the game.

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