Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The number 13 - Is it Lucky or Unlucky? Ask Jesus, Taylor Swift, Dan Marino, or Kirk Warner - It depends on your perspective

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th has long been believed as one of the unluckiest days of the year.  This is most widely believed in America, but the superstition has spread across the globe.  There are numerous reasons that people believe this day to be unlucky.  I believe in the theory that it is actually a combination of two old superstitions that merged together sometime during the 1800’s.  The two superstitions are that 13 is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.  So when they occur in unison, it is considered an exponentially unlucky day on the calendar.
13th, friday, unlucky, lucky, superstition

First off, the number 13 has long been considered unlucky because it is not as perfect of a number as its predecessor, the number 12.  Twelve has long been considered a perfect, complete number for many reasons;  twelve hours on the clock, twelve months in a year, there are twelve Gods of Olympus, twelve signs in the Zodiac, twelve Apostles of Jesus just to name a few occasions of the importance of the number twelve.  Because of so many times in history where the number 12 was so significant, the number 13 just didn’t feel right.  This is why the number 13 has long been considered an unlucky number.

For centuries, Fridays have been considered the unluckiest day of the week.  In Rome, Friday was the day of the week that executions were carried out.  Friday was also the day Jesus was crucified.  The great flood is also believed to have begun on a Friday and it is also believed that Eve seduced Adam in the Garden of Eden on a Friday.  In modern times, many people believe that starting a new project on a Friday is bad luck.  The early Church believed that Fridays were for heathens.  King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar on Friday, October 13th, 1307.  It is for these reasons as well as many others that Fridays are thought to be the unluckiest day of the week.

It really doesn’t matter why people think that Friday the 13th is unlucky.  What matters is the fact that people have been telling themselves and people have been telling others that it is an unlucky day.  I don’t know a person who hasn’t said it at one time or another in their life.  If you believe a specific day is going to be unlucky and that something bad may happen to you, you will probably be right.  What you say is what you get.  The British Medical Journal conducted a study in 1993.  Researchers proposed that, “the risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent” on Friday the 13th.  The two year study also showed that fewer cars were on the road on Fridays that were on the 13th day of the month.  Researchers concluded that superstitious people tended to not drive, choosing other means of transportation, and stayed off the roads on those particular days. 

If you believe Friday the 13th is unlucky, it will be.  If you believe it will be like any other day, no more lucky or unlucky than any other day, you will also be right.  A Friday that falls on the 13th of the month is no different than any other Friday.  If we didn’t number the days of the month, there wouldn’t be a Friday the 13th.  History has proven this day to be unlucky, and your brain believes whatever information you put into it. 

Unlucky 13

Fear of the number 13 has a specifically recognized phobia.  It is called Triskaidekaphobia.  Those sufferers inflicted with this phobia try to avoid bad luck by keeping away from anything numbered or labeled with a 13.  Some companies and organizations have even used other unique ways of numbering and labeling to avoid the number 13.  Hotels and office buildings many times don’t have a 13th floor.

unlucky lucky 13 jersey
Dan Marino was one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks in history who played his entire career for the Miami Dolphins.  He wore #13 on his jersey.  He set numerous passing records during his playing days, but he never won a Super Bowl.  Maybe the reason he never won the Super Bowl was because of the unlucky number he wore on his back?

There were thirteen people around the table at Jesus Christ’s last supper.  The twelve apostles and with the presence of Christ, there were 13.  Because one of the thirteen, Judas Iscariot, was the betrayer of Christ, some religious people believe the number 13 is unlucky.

In some ancient cultures, long before equal rights, femininity was represented by the number 13.  This was because it was in sync with the number of menstrual cycles in a year; thirteen. (13 x 28 = 364 days)

Lucky 13

Taylor Swift, country music legend, was born on the 13th of December.  She has always considered 13 her lucky number.  Her first album took 13 weeks to reach gold.  She often sits in the 13th seat, the 13th row or a section with a connection to 13 at award shows for good luck.  During her concerts, she also writes the number 13 on her hand for luck.

Apollo 13 was one of the most famous NASA space missions.  Even though they didn’t make it to the moon, despite multiple failures with their spacecraft, they did return home safely to Earth.  This could be considered lucky or unlucky, depending on how you look at it.

If you were in a bakery, getting a “baker’s dozen” is a good thing.  That is thirteen items instead of twelve.  In that case, 13 cookies or 13 donuts is always better then 12.

Colgate University was founded in 1819 by thirteen men with thirteen dollars, thirteen prayers and thirteen articles.  Because of these facts, the university considers 13 a very lucky number and a good omen.  Their address is 13 Oak Drive in Hamilton, New York. 

The American flag has thirteen stripes to represent the thirteen colonies.  America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave.  America was able to break free of England and today remains the most prosperous country in the world.
lucky 13, unlucky 13, superstition,

Kurt Warner, NFL quarterback wearing #13 on his jersey, led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl XXXIV victory over the Tennessee Titans.  He threw for a Super Bowl record 414 yards.  No other quarterback has ever thrown for more than 400 in a Super Bowl.  He also won two league MVP awards, in 1999 and 2001.  Kurt Warner was boxing groceries at a supermarket for a living prior to his unlikely entrance into the NFL and stardom.  The number 13 was very lucky for him.   

The number 13 stirs up a wide range of emotions with most people.  For many, the number 13 is a negative, while for some it is viewed as a positive.  I have always liked the number 13.  Some people share my feelings as it being a lucky number, while many feel the exact opposite.  The number thirteen is just a number.  It is only unlucky if you believe it is.  You are the master of your mind and only you can control your thoughts.  Whether you say it to yourself, think it, or write it down, you decide if it is positive or negative, lucky or unlucky. 


Chris Coltran is based in Acworth, GA. He is a published author and President of C2 Unlimited. He has worked in manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, and retail, as well as being a sales and marketing consultant to various companies for over 20 years. Chris is a Keynote and Motivational speaker, having spoken to various groups in the floor covering, furniture, automotive, direct sales, multi-level marketing, and service industries at conventions, and association meetings. He is also an entrepreneur helping other entrepreneurs with business development. For more information or to contact Chris, he can be found on the web at: www.chriscoltran.com and via email at: chris@chriscoltran.com

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