Consider the classic 1)hypothetical 2)scenario: Your house is on fire and you can take only three things with you before the entire structure becomes 3)engulfed in flames. What would you take? Laptops and external hard drives aside, people's responses to this question differ wildly. This diversity results from people's flexibility in ascribing unique value to objects ranging from a hand-scrawled note from a loved one to a 4)threadbare t-shirt that others might consider worthless.
The critical quality that leads people to treat 5)rookie cards like 6)rosaries is that of the sacred, whereby an object becomes worthy of boundless7)reverence, commitment, and protection. Actually, it explains one side of the word “taboo” which few people realize. Taboo, the prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred and 8)consecrated or too dangerous and accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake.
Generally, the prohibition that is inherent in a taboo includes the idea that its 9)breach or 10)defiance will be followed by some kind of trouble to the offender, such as lack of success in hunting or fishing, sickness, 11)miscarriage, or death. In some cases 12)proscription is the only way to avoid this danger; examples include rules against fishing or picking fruit at certain seasons and against walking or traveling in certain areas. Dietary restrictions are common, as are rules for the behavior of people facing important life events such as 13)parturition, marriage, death, and rites of passage.