Prestidigitation – sleight of hand. When performed well, our most rational and logical minds are beyond amazed. We know it’s deception, but we don’t know how. Not knowing how is what makes it magic. It seems impossible.
In life, when things are going well, it’s easy to maintain a good mood. There’s no real deception needed, since our demeanor is merely a reflection of what’s happening in our lives. This is not where one’s true character is revealed. What sometime feels impossible in life is being able to show up and be present when our lives are in throes of conflict and struggle. This is where one’s true character is revealed. The people we tend to admire most are the ones that remain steadfast regardless of whether situational life has them up or down. Their emotions are not tied to these events. Events do not determine their demeanor; their choices do. This is not deception – this is character. They are wizards!
We know this because we all know what it looks like when people try, and fail, to put up a facade to mask turmoil. It’s a poorly executed magic trick, where nobody is fooled except for the magician that believes they fooled the audience. This is self-deception. It’s akin to a 5-year old getting a magic set and clumsily performing a simply trick for family members. Proper etiquette dictates that you don’t call bullshit on a 5-year doing a magic trick. We pretend to be mystified.
The dilemma here is twofold. First, we must actively work to not let everything going on around us determine how we show up. Our will must be stronger than the breeze at its worst and able to withstand gale force winds at its best. Secondly, we help others through displays of compassion and empathy. True displays or compassion and empathy do not involve letting people off the hook. Nobody wins when we knowingly allow ourselves to be deceived by someone else’s poor sleight of hand. The prestige of life is a resolute pursuit of truth.