reason 50

Reason is a monthly missive from the partners of Essex Two, a vertically integrated communication consultancy. This issue of reason marks the beginning of its fifth year and our 17th as an agency. We invite our readers to think in new ways about their business, their customers and the opportunities for meaningful communication between them. Joseph and Nancy Essex

Shared Passion  Passion is more than sex in the same way that commitment is more than just showing up. True passion requires intention, not just interest. When nurtured, passion returns pride, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

Our passions add color to our lives and texture to our experiences. The sharing of our passions with others creates an opportunity to better understand and appreciate one another. In January, the Society of Typography Arts focused on these themes at their annual conference in Delavan, Wisconsin.

While joined together by their love for typography and communication, each conferee had an opportunity to present their other passions to the attendees. The intensity and variety of the 20-plus presentations surprised, energized, and exalted the normally reserved intellectual gathering.

Oscar shared his passion for turning the usually uneventful New Year’s Day into a challenging and energizing event. One year he rode Chicago’s CTA to every stop and station in its system. “There may be a better way to see and appreciate Chicago, or maybe not.” Last year he and a friend tracked down and visited every location and building mentioned in the best selling book Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. Oscar’s love of Chicago and history was infinitely satisfied and enriched by his passionate exploration.

Janet discovered a passion for producing film by accident. When her boss said there was no money to hire someone to develop a short film for their company’s website, Janet took up the challenge. She discovered a gift for producing and a new passion worthy of her time and energy.

Bob has passion for growing and eating hot peppers — very hot peppers. Sporting protective gear and brandishing somber warnings he served up education, humor, and peppers, with heat that ranged from volcanic to something akin the surface temperature of the planet Mercury.

Nick reclaimed a section of Illinois prairie with fire and gentle healing attention. Gail battled city politics to reclaim vacant lots for urban gardens. Jack’s passion for flying ultra-light aircraft was undiminished even after two crashes in three months. Janet and Jan infected the conferees with their passion for salsa dancing and its culture of rich music, unbridled fun and sophisticated abandon.

Those attending the conference were reawakened to the concept that passion for anything is about the journey, not the destination. By sharing our passions with others we add flavor and enjoyment to our own experience, and stimulate the understanding and appreciation of those with whom we share the trip.

As individuals and institutions we are never just what we do for a living. We become the sum of our knowledge, divided by our commitments, multiplied by the depth of our passions. Wine is not purchased to wash down food, but to add pleasure to a delicious meal. No matter how practical the individual, the final selection of a new car will depend more on self-perception than miles per gallon. No one aspires to mediocrity.

Passion, like the concepts of quality and value, is aroused by knowledge and awareness. We help our clients to identify and articulate how best to present themselves and their products to their audiences in ways that stimulate passion and participation. Visit the Essex Two website for case studies that demonstrate our ability to stimulate the success of our clients.

Worth your time:  Age Doesn’t Matter Unless You’re a Cheese: Wisdom from Our Elders by Kathryn and Ross Petras is a small book with ideas so freeing and concepts so supportive as to reflect the parents, grandparents, coaches, mentors, teachers and bosses we all had or wished we had. What is implied is our obligation and opportunity to be that kind of scout for many of those in our lives who might benefit from our own experience and an occasional heads-up.

Special Note:  The last four years of reason are now available on our website.

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