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"My major allegiance has been to story-telling, not to history."
                                                                                               - Russell Banks

We often pledge our allegiance to a religion, a country, a lifestyle, a person, a political party, a scientific principle, an author, a company, an idea. Then we rely on this allegiance for guidance. Most of our actions are shaped by the allegiances we forge. After a while, we stop reasoning whether we ought to go ahead with a certain action. Instead, we start reasoning as to whether that action falls within the ambit of what is allowed by our allegiances. We often tend to focus on the history than on the story-telling.

Since we act this way, we expect everyone around us to act the same way. We do not take change very kindly. This is why brands are ever so cautious about changing their stance about certain topics. Which is why it was a pleasant surprise to hear one of the biggest and oldest brands in the world, the Pope, come out and say "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" This, after a million moms raised their voices against JC Penney for roping in Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson.

Far too often, we get lost in the ambit of our allegiances and fail to act, fail to create and fail to be remarkable. Brands most often reflect the popular opinion, which means this prevents brands from being remarkable as well.

If we let the history go and focus on the story-telling alone, we will witness brands, governments and everyone else doing the same. When we look at the way a brand communicates, or the way a government is run, or the way our organizations are run, we are looking at mirrors.

What do you want to see in them?

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