I have always loved magic. There’s nothing better than watching a good magic trick. It was a hobby for me growing up. I still have my E-Z Magic catalog from those days along with several of the tricks I bought as a kid. It’s depressing to see these old tricks labeled vintage on e-bay. Guess that makes me vintage as well. When I was in grade school I’d practice and practice then on a given show and tell day I’d bring in some of these tricks and put on a short magic show.
When I had one of my kids in first or second grade I would offer to come and put on a short magic show for their class. I learned that doing magic for kids is very different from doing it for adults. Adults can easily fall into a state of suspended disbelief. Kids on the other hand tend to see the world much more pragmatically. Adults are willing to be fooled by a magician. Kids will tell you how you did the trick and sometimes they’d be right. That changed the make-up of my magic collection. What’d I’d do is start off telling the class that I was going to make them see things the way I wanted them to see things. That seemed to move them closer to a state of suspended disbelief. I would show them how a trick was done. Kind of a back stage view, then I’d do the trick for them. I would finish the trick differently. Same net effect but obviously done in an impossible way. In other words, I’d sucker them into believing they understood how to achieve the effect but then do something completely different.
Pretty much the way our politicians work wouldn’t you say? We want, no we expect the magician to game us. Part of the fun is being fooled and I’m here to tell you that so many of the best magic tricks have such a simple solution to their workings that you’d be let down when you learned how simple the operation was. Upset even. An example is the cup and balls trick. It’s one that almost everyone knows if you ever got a magic set for Christmas. I’ll show kids how it’s done using four balls. I’d explain how you only show three of the balls and keep the fourth hidden so you can make it look like a ball penetrates the cup. It was what I did next that gets you. I take away the forth ball and do the same routine with the same end results. The balls penetrate the cup.
We love being fooled this way. Until it comes to real life. Then it’s evil and creates hatred and division. Magic is accomplished with distraction, misdirection and lies. These are things we can’t tolerate in our relationships and in our government. How do we change the mess of a world we find ourselves in? We must hold ourselves accountable. The only person I can truly control is myself. The only change I can make is inside of me and then hope that if I’m honest and live with integrity that change will bleed over into the world. We live according to the choices we make. We all need to learn to choose better.