Bait

If a trout sees a fly flitting about on the surface of his river, he’s going to snap at it. It’s in his nature. And when it’s just nature at play, that’s a great idea. Everybody needs food.

Unfortunately, sometimes man is inserting himself into this little game, and then taking that bait means certain death for the trout. I’ve always had mixed emotions about that sort of thing. When you take advantage of the fact that another creature is going to do what comes naturally, it kind of seems like cheating to me.

Bait. It’s a sinister thing. And the worst part is that we use it on one another, too.

If you’ve ever snapped off an angry response to a hostile e-mail, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You took the bait. And that almost always makes things worse for you.

Humans have always struggled with delayed gratification. The bait is there now, and it’s soooo satisfying to snap at it. For a split second. Then the regret and/or embarrassment sets in.

Trolls, in particular, count on this. They get some weird satisfaction from getting a rise out of people, while hiding alone in their lonely little rooms, clad in their stained and stretched out tighty whities. And they are oh, so good at it.

When someone gives you bait, it’s hard not to take it. But as a loved one says, “Don’t let their stupid rub off on you.” Wise words, indeed.

I’m trying to remind myself that no one controls my timeline. I don’t have to respond instantly to an e-mail. The fact that I’ve never been very good with snappy comebacks is probably a good thing, after all.

Take a breath. Let things percolate. Give yourself the time to use your very valuable brain. Because hooks in the mouth hurt.

Trout fly

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2 thoughts on “Bait

  1. LYN

    Post is dated 3-13-19 and today is 8-24-19. Have my thoughts been percolating long enough? I like your stereotyped vision of a troll but the biggest Troll isn’t hiding… he’s out there in plain sight daily on twitter and television spewing his hate and dangling his bait. His stupid has rubbed off on a whole nation. The only up side is he’s just as likely to snap up bait laid for him and respond without using his brain. While he never appears to be embarrassed or regret his lack of snappy comebacks, this week it seems the damage his careless words do are finally catching up. He’s erratically throwing bait at fish who won’t take it but might take a bite out of him. He fancies himself a shark but the real sharks have been manipulating and baiting him. His ego just won’t admit it. All this fish talk and I don’t fish or eat fish… 🙂

    1. I’ve always thought he would be very easy to manipulate. Just massage his ego a bit. Tell him he could make history. You can get him to do a complete turnaround, such as with background checks for gun purchases. Someone that easy to manipulate who swims amongst politicians is bound to be devoured. Unfortunately there will be collateral damage worldwide.

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