Talking about a country is always more than just telling a fact
Very often the idea we have on a country or a continent depends just on an unordered and often unconscious collection of information we got from third parties, such as media, film and books. A single event, a fact is added to another one and the picture we have in mind is ready.
Just to be clear: This post is not about bad journalism or people who want to influence negatively.
We have to be aware that communicating in a neutral way is not possible. Even the selection of a topic, the highlighting itself of a fact gives a certain push to what we think and what we know. And in most of the countries – if we never have been there or talked to many people coming from there – we have just assumptions in mind, often without being able to refer to any facts and figures.
If we want or not, we all have a certain idea on how a country ranks within our internal value ladder. Even children can tell you if the country or continent you mention is one with a rather positive or negative image.
A good example is Africa: Here the three “ds” are omnipresent: death, destruction and disease. Just open a newspaper …
Shouldn’t we communicate at all? For sure, this would be the wrong way. Communicating just the positive facts? Yes, please more positive stories. However, we need to be informed also about challenges and things that do not work at all. I want to know about all kind of realities of a country and its people, and you?
There is one simple conclusion I like a lot. It is a conclusion which is shown also in the video “African people don’t want your T-shirts and other mythbusters” – in a very impressive way:
Simply be open to whatever comes next!
This is definitely a message we should communicate more often across all generations and people in the world!
* Please note/source: The picture is taken out of the video cited in this post with the same title:”African people don’t want your T-shirts and other mythbusters”