I recently watched an interview between Lex Fridman and Kanye (Ye) West.
If you’re unfamiliar, Lex is a Russian-American computer scientist, artificial intelligence researcher, and podcast host who regularly interviews some of the smartest people the world.
And Ye, well, you’ve probably heard of — but if you haven’t, he’s one of the world’s most well-known personas who’s been popularized for his rap, songs, records, and fashion.
About the pod:
There were several moments when Ye’d say something I’d either disagree with or make me think:
“This person has issues.”
And I’m not the only person who thinks so.
Many people in the media think he’s in need of help, suffering from mental problems, or even a racist.
But as a copywriter — and I’d argue even as a decent human being — this type of thinking is dangerous and important to understand.
Applying labels to people, such as “crazy”, is our brain’s way of simplifying the complexities of humanity.
Someone can say something “crazy”, such as…
“We’re living in a simulation.”
…but that doesn’t mean they’re a crazy person.
Many times crazy-sounding ideas end up being true, like how at one point in history saying that the Earth revolves around the sun was considered heresy and even a punishable offense.
Of course, sometimes things people say are actually crazy.
But, as a copywriter, you want to avoid falling into that trap of instantly disavowing things that don’t make sense to you.
And here’s why:
Copywriting isn’t about what you think — it’s about what your reader feels.
And if your reader things that hyper-intelligent frogs are building an army underground in order to takeover the world, so be it.
You may disagree, but don’t stop trying to understand.
Because when you can understand on someone feels and thinks, your writing will connect with your reader — which is, ultimately, the goal of copywriting.
This idea of casting judgement without trying to understand is unproductive.
So much so, that it may just be the end of humanity.
Yet on the other hand, understanding, empathy, and compromise may just bring the opposite — everlasting world peace and prosperity.
That’s my belief.
You can think my ideas are crazy, but that doesn’t make me a crazy person.
Seek to understand before being understood - Stephen Covery
If you want to see what led to today’s email, check out this interview: