It's very surreal and astonishing that the only two people I've sent a final draft of my essay Marketing: What's Love Got to Do With It? before it was available at the More Space blog are the author and the citation in this post. Doc chimes on the post too:
I am so sick of marketing and marketers.
|Me too. Have been for a long time. In fact, that's why we wrote Cluetrain six years ago.|
It's even more surreal that what instigated my essay in the first place was the divisiveness and lack of respect and dialogue I witnessed prior to the 2004 U.S. elections. And I saw the very same in the media, in society, and in the blogosphere itself that went far beyond the political. I saw it in dividing my own family:
I struggle to find the spot of land - a little patch of grass swaying in the canyon gusts - across the ever-widening gulf to build a bridge.
Many people won't even have a conversation with me because they obviously know me: because I am in marketing, because I am a blogger, because I'm one of those technocrats, because I am an American, because I was raised by first-generation immigrants, because my last name is Rodriguez, because I'm religious, because I'm not Christian enough, because I sound like green organic granola new-agey, because I sound like a ruthless capitalist, because I am a woman, because I'm young, because I'm old, because because because...you have me pegged. Alas, the ironic thing is that is what far too many marketers are trained to do: Peg people. Peg our motivations. A professor writes:
You, Ms. Rodriguez, appear to be an enemy. I teach philosophy and literature at various schools here in the South, and one of my principal difficulties is instructing young minds to be mindful of people in marketing, for such souls buy and sell the anima and animus of our cultures as if we ourselves were mere commodities... A marketer with integrity though???? Possible?
Dave stopped speaking to me offline. No biggie. I figured he was busy. I really like what he has to say: I'm not big on the conversation meme myself. But his post got me wondering why the silence: Aha, I'm one of them. One of those marketers. In what passes more like an attack than a conversation re: Squidoo in the comment stream at Buzzmachine, Seth Godin himself chimes in: "Not sure why people feel so angry..." (Well, don't you know you know your people - ahem marketers - are scum of the earth?)
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing & right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other, don't make any sense. - Rumi
In the essay I write:
For the first time ever, we now see at least three worldviews, or decision-making frameworks, clashing in the media. [I had to grossly oversimplify in the essay, in truth there are five; but three are predominant in a business context within developed nations.] And even more in the marketplace. The working assumption that everyone holds the same frame of reference used to work just fine—when a single predominant worldview governed business and media.
I used the word clashing on purpose. There's a lot of clashing.
I'm not here to defend marketers or marketing. Nor any mere label. Funny that today Yvonne writes: "Labels slide off of her like melting ice." The truth is I try much harder to do same for others: I don't see anyone's identity as a marketer and another as an anti-marketer.
Anyway, labels don't mean much. Within the label business or marketing, there are those for whom a world of competition is actually not their reality. Tomorrow I'll share a story that exemplies a business that does not subscribe to a winners and losers worldview reality either.
Other posts that instigated the essay are: Beyond Cluetrain Conversation: The We Story; Evangelism is Dead, Long Live Conversationalists; Highest Common Denominator; The Casualties of Ideological Warfare; and Never Vote Straight Party: The Origins of Ideas, Part 2.
Bonus: If you read Jory's essay to the very brilliant end, you'll see she is also singing the same beyond competition tune when an unlikely mentor, Calvin, enters her life.
Ultimately, my essay is on compassion in business. The essay begins with and I'd say is framed by this Peter Drucker quote:
Society needs a return to spiritual values—not to offset the material but to make it fully productive... Mankind needs the return to spiritual values, for it needs compassion. It needs the deep experience that the Thou and the I are one, which all higher religions share.
In addition to Drucker, Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now perfectly nails my own view:
Compassion is a deep bond between yourself and all creatures. But there are two sides to compassion, two sides to this bond. On the one hand, since you are still here as a physical body, you share the vulnerability and mortality of your physical form with every other human and with every living being. Next time you say, "I have nothing in common with this person," remember that you have a great deal in common: A few years from now - two years or seventy years, it doesn't make a difference - both of you will have become rotting corpses, then piles of dust, then nothing at all. This is a sobering and humbling realization that leaves little room for pride. Is this a negative thought? No, it is a fact. Why close your eyes to it? In that sense, there is total equality between you and every other creature.
One of the most powerful spiritual practices is to meditate deeply on the mortality of physical forms, including your own. This is called: Die before you die. Go into it deeply. Your physical form is dissolving, is no more. Then a moment comes when all mind-forms or thoughts also die. Yet you are still there - the divine presence that you are. Radiant, fully awake. Nothing that was real ever died, only names, forms, and illusions.
The realization of this deathless dimension, your true nature, is the other side of compassion. On a deep feeling-level, you now recognize not only your own immortality but through your own that of every other creature as well. On the level of form, you share mortality and the precariousness of existence. On the level of Being, you share eternal, radiant life. These are the two aspects of compassion. In compassion, the seemingly opposite feelings of sadness and joy merge into one and become transmuted into a deep inner peace...
True compassion, as I have just described it, is as yet rare. To have deep empathy for the suffering of another being certainly requires a high degree of consciousness but represents only one side of compassion. It is not complete. True compassion goes beyond empathy or sympathy. It does not happen until sadness merges with joy, the joy of Being beyond form, the joy of eternal life.
p.s. Sometimes you stay: 'You're running away. You don't have the guts to stay and change it.' This post is about A.G. Lafley, the Chairman and CEO of Proctor & Gamble, nearly leaving P&G twenty years ago. I nearly left business and technology three to four years ago myself.