Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty
That’s what Google throws back at me when I google the word. Coming from a community that has a long and rich history, there are thousands, no, millions of beliefs that are thrown at, and around me on a daily basis. By my immediate family, by my relatives, by friends – the few that are close and the many that aren’t; and in general everyone else.
Religious beliefs are aplenty – but that’s a topic for a different day. This post is about simple habitual, day-to-day activity based beliefs that every individual has.
Beliefs can be tagged to anything and everything. Beliefs could have sound arguments and a basis, or they could be simply something one has believed for a long time. For instance, my grandmother used to repeatedly remind me that I should NEVER cut my nails post sunset. I could never agree to that; and to this date, I have not been able to figure out a possible reason for that from her or anyone else in the family; the only remote one being she probably didn’t have a steady supply of electricity during her hey days.
I still cut my nails irrespective of the sun’s position; and ironically, most of the times at night.
As a stubborn child with relatively relenting parents, who repeatedly chose the option of advising and not forcing their advice on me (or maybe I was really thick-skinned), I became quite the opposer to family beliefs.
- Eat your greens, they are good for you – nopes
- Gargle your throat when you have a sore throat – nopes
- Have milk with a teaspoon of turmeric before you go to sleep when you have cold – yuck!
- Spend a few hours every week and give music (singing/instruments) a try for hobby and/or interest – nopes
- Take an oil bath once every month (or on auspicious dates) – no way!
- Have curd rice or buttermilk at the end of every meal (lunch & dinner) – nopes
- Have meals at regular time consistently – nopes
- Go to sleep early and wake up early – nopes
I could go on and on. I wasn’t a tough child – just a stubborn one. And as most kids do, I’d do the exact opposite of what my parents would tell me to do – not listen to them. Sometimes I’d ask them for reasons, and when they couldn’t give a proper reason, I’d just shrug it off and ignore them.
It’s ironic that life has come back a full circle and many of those beliefs are something that I have come to regard as very important and 100% valid. Some of them seem to be considered as vital by the educated community.
Ah well. Better late than never.