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Are You a Magician or a Troll?

Cave troll in the rain

I was on my walk this morning when a social media notification came in on my phone. I opened and read it, but then noticed a video directly under it. It was one of those “how they do the magic trick” videos. It got me to thinking about their motivation.


There are two types of people in our world. Magicians and trolls. Magicians bring wonder to the world while trolls live to remove it. Trolling is when someone comments online or even in real life to deliberately upset others. They somehow believe that it proves them to be intellectuals or they are doing a service for the world, but in reality, the saddest part is that they have forgotten that the magic is not in the trick, but in the audience’s collective willingness to believe the illusion.


The magician isn't trying to prove that he is smarter than anyone else. We all know the magic isn’t real. Instead, real magicians start by asking our permission to join them in suspending our belief for just a short time. They invite you to believe like a child once again and remember the feeling of astonishment when Grandpa got your nose or when Mommy disappeared behind her hands and surprised you with a boo! They're letting us relive the most enchanting emotions of our younger selves. But when trolls reveal how a trick is done, they're not just ruining the illusion, they're stealing your childhood's eye.


Yes, there are some who would claim that they are merely attempting to motivate magicians to "push their craft forward," stating that the industry has become stale and stagnant and that by revealing the mechanisms behind the trick, they force magicians to abandon old techniques and create new ones.

I guess that's fine for top tier magicians, but try to convince the guy who's been hired to entertain a group of 7-year-olds armed with iPhones at a birthday party or that third grader who is just starting to learn sleight of hand. Thanks to the troll’s example, there’s a pretty good chance their audiences will spend more energy attempting to show everyone how he did his trick rather than just enjoying the show.


Because of their troll-like efforts, how many Harry Houdini’s, Hollie England’s, or David Copperfield’s are we allowing to be stolen from the world because they were forced to give up in the face of troll mob mentality?


I guess what I'm trying to say is maybe just like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop or what hot dogs are really made of, there are things in this world we should just choose not to know just to preserve our own sense of wonder. It's really for our own good. So next time you see one of these internet troll videos revealing just how these tricks are done, think twice. Ask yourself if what they're revealing to you is really worth what you're losing. And as long as you’re questioning yourself, ask this one as well. Is this whole thought only about magic tricks or should you start thinking about how this applies in regular life as well?


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