Paying Attention

The eas­i­est way to get peo­ple who live in Cleveland and have a bad opin­ion of Cleveland to have a bet­ter opin­ion of Cleveland is to get them to pay at­ten­tion to dif­fer­ent things, and to pri­or­i­tize that at­ten­tion. This evening I could have dwelt up­on how emp­ty the down­town was, but in­stead I mar­veled at the Christmas lights on Public Square and thought about the care that some­one took in hang­ing them. It made me re­mem­ber what the re­al stars look like.

On the bus home, I could have looked with dis­taste on the mer­cu­r­ial meth-head, but he kept jaw­ing about go­ing home to see his moth­er, and there was a dad play­ing peek­a­boo with his lit­tle daugh­ter. Her laugh­ter cheered every­one on the bus.

Back when I was full time un­der­grad I tossed about phras­es like “your fo­cus de­ter­mines your re­al­i­ty,” but it’s more mean­ing­ful to say “pay at­ten­tion and get what you pay for.”