Marketing and the big lies: Are there better answers?

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The district commissioner's office in Tjolotjo, long before I visited to meet the last white DC in the transition to Zimbabwe. This photo was taken in the early 1950s.
huey long
Do we see correlations in current events with Huey Long’s story? Or, in my case, the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.

Often the truth is painful; and far too often individuals hope problems will go away just by pushing them out-of-the-way, weaving deception and dishonesty in their experiences. They may not have criminal or evil intent but the stories don’t usually end up well until they face — and accept responsibility — for the truth.

Alas, this sort of individual behaviour can be extended along social or political lines; where reasonable thinking becomes clouded in demagoguery, hatred, or simple ignorance.

Marketers, alas, often have a major role in these deceptions, either encouraging cover-ups because individuals cannot live to the expectations they perceive as set for them; or to fuel the fans of hatred and distortion.

If you think I have a simple or rational solution to these truly immense problems, of course, you will be thinking just like the people who buy the “easy solution” crap (or worse, sell it.) I can’t shake ignorance, racism, hatred, xenophobia, or other evils out of the individuals I know, the population at large, and the marketing manipulators who spew thoughts that lead to dishonesty and hatred.

Underlying the challenges, we need to define “truth”.  With many religious wars, clearly, not everyone has the same vision and perception. The terrorist sees himself as a hero, after all.

I wish I could help others understand the epiphany I experienced some 35 years ago in Africa; in a drinking hall in a Rhodesian-turning-Zimbabwe village in the weeks after a seven year-old civil war ended; and before a genocidal massacre began. I realized then my religion (I’m Jewish) as I observed the universality of the human experience  and the amazing insights that occur when we set high and challenging goals and reach beyond our expectations.

I can’t give courage and a multinational perspective to individuals who chose to look inward rather than outward. However, maybe with some intelligent marketing insights we can make the world just a little better than it is now.

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