Worth thinking about

2020-08-28

One time a magician was teaching me a trick. He told me about a time that he’d started a trick for somebody by telling them to think of a card. Then he guessed that it was the 10 of hearts. The person was flabbergasted that he was right!

The truth is, he’d just guessed a card at random. This was just the introduction to a longer, more interesting trick. Naming the wrong card was part of the setup for the trick. But sometimes (once out of every 52 times you do the trick) you guess the card right by accident. And the person you’re doing the trick for is totally unprepared, because what you did isn’t even magic: from their perspective, it’s just impossible.

He looked me in the eye seriously. I was 14. “When this happens,” he said, “and it will not happen often, you have a very important duty. Take the credit. Do not under any circumstances let them see that you succeeded by blind chance.”

I wrestle now with whether that’s a good life lesson, or a psychotic one. But it’s certainly a perspective to consider.