As much as fear of change and tribalism will seek to keep things as they are, to the detriment of our evolutionary process, there are beautiful signs of light and hope to inspire our greater sense of selves and shared destiny, and represent the “right” side of history. The 2016 Olympic games in Rio have featured advertisements that overtly communicate a message of unity among peoples. One such company that is hitting the nail right on the head is Mini USA’s #DefyLabels campaign. It clearly flies in the face of the hate and fear filled rhetoric we’ve seen recently (whether from Donald Trump’s presidential, or even ISIS itself). In this commercial, several prominent and not so prominent American Olympic athletes graciously represent a demographic that is not only a part of the US, but the world as a whole. This message reinforces the undeniable fact that we are all one, that we all have hopes and dreams, and we can indeed all learn to respect each other’s differences and live under one banner – the human race. This commercial represents the right side of history, and it certainly feels good to be a part of.
Mini’s commercial aside, what is the “right” side of history, anyway? Good question. We suggest that the right side of history has everything to do with a sustainable evolutionary trajectory. Since globalization is a trend that is only accelerating, affecting not only international commerce, but the flow and intermixing of peoples religions, ethnicities, cultures and historical references from around the planet, it is indeed highly necessary to define what it means to be on the right side of history. The Clash of Civilizations very clearly discusses how the intermixing mentioned above will cause serious growing pains as we learn to live with each other without destroying each other in the process. Our innate tribalistic tendencies make this process very hard, and it is not made easier with a vitriolic politic that exploits these tendencies for political gain. This year has seen significant exposure of this horrific underbelly of mankind, most notably with Trump’s campaign in the US, as well as the general messaging with the Brexit referendum which had serious anti-immigrant undertones. Where the trend of globalization is concerned, this is definitely the wrong side of history. The right side of history discusses and celebrates differences in a mature manner, and a can-do attitude that globalization and evolution are going to happen whether we like it or not, there’s nothing we can do to stop it (short of a third world war where most of the earth’s human population is wiped out and swept back in to the stone ages), and that we are going to proactively facilitate it by engaging with it directly.
If you have other examples of television commercials that are on the right side of history, indeed post them to #ourtimesfeelgood on Facebook. Your small addition could carry a significant influence on just one person who might need to hear your message of encouragement and inspiration right now.