My ice cream flavor of choice is mint chocolate chip.
Sweetness on its own has a vacuous, unsatisfying quality that can’t be taken seriously. But sweetness as accent and tease, as nostalgia, like Miles Davis on Kind of Blue, full bodied, with notes of oomph and pizzazz, that’s sweetness people yearn for.
Don’t expect children to understand this. They must first outgrow their sweet tooth simplicity. And not all adults get there. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is for people with longer attention spans, who value nuance, who remember things being too sweet or too anything else.
Blinkered by excessive social media with their numbing barrage of memes and visuals, not to mention distrustful of news media with their click-driven penchant for exaggeration, people of the planet Earth may be excused for squinting skeptically when you entreat their attention. Besieged and ambushed before by so many invitations to listen or look or read or watch something, don’t be surprised that they aren’t rushing over when you announce new content for their consideration.
And with everything promised sounding so sweet, Earth people can’t really be expected to invest too heavily in figuring out the truth value of these claims. So they tune out and scoop themselves some mint chocolate chip ice cream, which never lets them down, because it’s unfaltering authenticity, complexity, and vitality reassures them.
Attention means everything. Your life is the sum of what you pay attention to. Your attention and the mind cycles that support it are the precious essence firms pay to monetize slivers of because it is a scarce resource over which more battles are fought daily than were ever before in our species’ brief history.
Cameras focus by detecting contrast and humans operate similarly. Writing that earns people’s attention creates contrasts to clarify the differences they delineate.
Human communication implies or states a view of reality reimagined from a new perspective or with a new purpose. A call to action is a call to change your mind first and foremost. To rethink what has taken up your attention in terms of what would be better for you or perhaps for the world by attending to an alternative.
We know that hope is not hopeless.
Those for whom slivers of attention suffice will continue splashing obnoxious and waxing loudness, leaving a trail of sighs in their wake. To earn attention that keeps worthy ideas afloat in the deep end, to earn lasting support that walks intentions all the way up to better outcomes and even better dreams, fully formed sentences, imaginative and humane, evidence-based and logically sound, have and will continue to be the instrument of choice.
I love writing and love working with people who, even if they don’t like mint chocolate chip ice cream, get what I’m saying.