Guest post Wangpo Tethong: Show courage and perseverance

September 21, 2021

For my socialization, the Tibet movement has played a big role. For many years I have been fascinated by the commitment of a small group of people to the cause of the Himalayan people. They undertake this task with astonishing effect, even though the skills and tools they use are very modest. They disregard almost all PR basic rules, but their tactics nevertheless work. This success is justified by many with the phenomenon Dalai Lama. A good attempt at explanation, but insufficient.

With a friend from the communications industry, I have been having a conversation for years about the reasons for this success. The core, in our opinion, is the collective experience of a trauma. A trauma that has been processed and become the basis of a fundamental ethical attitude. It is expressed, intentionally or not, in every personal encounter or public action.

Crucial to the impact of their communication is that Tibetans are deeply convinced that the traumatic experience of the Chinese occupation of Tibet goes beyond the political nature. It is about more. Their hardship, they feel is a spiritual challenge, the overcoming of which makes them stronger. It is not resentment that drives them, but a positive certainty that a better future lies ahead. They are therefore sustained by a sense that they represent something special in this world.

Such experiences are not unique to Tibetans. In fact, they occur in different historical contexts and all over the planet. For all of them, the more formative such an experience is, the stronger the strength that can come from it.

We have put our personal insights from these conversations with Tibetans on paper, collected anecdotes, and condensed them into guiding principles that we call "mantras." They are designed to inspire people in all types of organisations and privately to sustainable and improved communications as well as actions. For us, these mantras are central. What are your mantras?

Show courage and perseverance

Empathy opens the eyes

Delight in simple ideas

Distrust the power of your speech

Don't be afraid to reinvent yourself

Let it go it’s not working

Wangpo Tethong's (wangpo@tethong.ch) previous professional positions include the Green Party of the Canton of Zurich, Greenpeace Switzerland, Campaign Forum and SWISSAID. In October 2021, he will take up the position of Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet (Europe). https://savetibet.org/
Together with Kelsang Gope (concept and copywriter at Serviceplan agency), is currently writing a reference book on "Campaign Mantras".

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