There are times when hope, or rather the concept of hope serves to our deception. This happens when things are just okay and then you get seduced with an utopian possibility. You are promised of a future, enticed to believe in the possibility and then made to commit to this possibility. In this case, hope is used to make you take a risk rather than help you out of a difficult situation. You get seduced to a game of life. Here are a few examples:
Example 1: A business pitcher impresses you with how their business idea will, or is shaping the future. If you inject some capital from your savings today, you’ll be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the future proceeds of the business. Your hesitation to join in at this moment may cost you an opportunity of a lifetime. The presentation is usually well laden with experience and also so convincing that you’re almost guaranteed of the promised success. The narrative is so well knit together that it seems like nothing can go wrong – because they edit the risks of the business, choosing to show only the best parts of their business. And you know what? You can’t know whether they’re right or wrong until the future comes.
Example 2: A salesman/agent comes to you and shows you how your otherwise okay life is actually not as okay as you think it is. They convince you that your phone, your wardrobe, your house, your car, your savings scheme or your job need a facelift because you deserve better than what you currently got. And what’s better? They got a solution that is customized just for you. You can change from your current phone, wardrobe, house, car, job or investment scheme to the solution they bring you because they care about you and you deserve better. What they don’t tell you is that they’re convincing you to buy so that they get a commission from selling to you – had you actually needed the thing they’re selling you, you’d have been looking for it rather than they looking for you. The sales agents make you long for something that will cost you much more for a marginal gain in utility, which is not economically sensible. You only realise the expensive cost for marginal gain after the deal is closed and you can no longer here the enticing voice of the sales agent; once they close a deal with you, they start convincing the next viable client so that they earn the next commission.
Example 3: A seduction artist approaches you. They know the right buttons to press to get you in the right mood. What do they want from you? Your vote, your identity capital or your loyalty? What do you get in return from the charms game? Do you get a win-win, or is it win-loss in their favour? Unless you stand to get an equitable gain (not equal gain) from the charms game, charms can be deceitful. A well experienced seducer will be so subtle that you don’t realise their hidden agenda until it is too late to just walk out. What would it be like to live with this reality?
Today’s article is meant to remind us of the deceptive character we share as humans. Human civilization learned how to tame plants, tame animals and tame natural laws by playing them to the advantage of humanity. If humans have the wits to influence animals and nature to humanity’s advantage, humans can play wits and influence fellow humans too. Woe unto you if you are not smart enough to understand the seduction game, for your valuable resources and skills may be with you but not necessarily yours for long.
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