"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." — Arthur C. Clarke, 1968
If you have the 1965 song by The Lovin' Spoonful as an earworm now, I'm sorry.
But I ask the question for a reason.
In trying times we need to believe in something.
I'm not suggesting that magic is a stand-in for religion or other spiritual beliefs.
Rather, it represents our ability to suspend disbelief — even if just for a few moments — to revel in something mystical, otherworldly, or wondrous.
Magic has the power to unite us in awe and wonder, as we either marvel at something inexplicable or attempt to unravel the secret behind the illusion.
Think of the times that you've seen magic shows, whether the rabbit-out-of-the-hat kind at birthday parties when you were a child, street performers who dazzle you with the cup and ball trick, or master illusionists on a Las Vegas stage.
We invite magical things into our lives, to distract us or to help create an illusion of something fanciful.
Think about the aptly-named Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World. Strolling down Main Street USA, you're magically transported to a 1910s-era America. The architecture changes as you enter Tomorrowland, or Frontierland, or Adventureland. You're meant to believe.