Ask A dozen people whether they have any superstitions, and the majority will tell you, without hesitation, that they have not the slightest belief in such things. If the truth is told there are very few of us who do not cherish some litde weaknesses in this direction. One person may believe in a number of superstitions; another has, perhaps, only a few that are observed; but he or she that has none at all is a remarkably rare individual. As a matter of fact, most superstitions are based on reason and sound common sense, and the man or woman who pays heed to them is acting intelligently, whether he or she knows it or not. Take, for instance, the belief that it is unlucky to walk under a ladder. True, the old assertion is that it is unlucky to do so because Jesus Christ was taken down from the Cross by means of a ladder. But the more practical reason is that painters and other men on ladders are very likely to drop things and, if you happen to be passing at the time, the paintpot or the tools will fall on you. Of course, the reasons for all superstitions are not so evident as this one about walking under a ladder: nevertheless, there is a germ of reason in them all, whether or not we know the reason.
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