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.”