Monday, 20 May 2013

Propaganda and Coriander

Make Love Not War
Persuasion, publicity, campaigning - tapping into emotions instead of the intellect...

There is an exhibition at British Library at the moment about propaganda and that's where it had me pondering - whilst waiting for friends to arrive I sat with my British Library salad which made me choke when I realised it was full of coriander, the green stuff that I dislike so much that I may even say I HATE it.

After the initial coriander horror experience I was reading the screen that described the propaganda show, "From leaflet drops to tweets, for intentions good and bad.", it read.

Propaganda - from the verb 'propagare' meaning 'set forward, extend, spread, increase' - anything we market can be considered propaganda, then - or?

Mostly the term has been connected with religious and political campaigning in the history of times and as such it has a certain quality to the sound and use.

So is it one of those words that has a negative vibe to it? And is it true that if some groups use it then it is 'propaganda' but if other people promote ideas then it is 'education and information'? Who is to decide what is what and who is who?

In the olden days when the word came about it was not just used in campaigns considered to be of religious or political nature - propaganda was used in promotion of health and wellbeing.

The thing about propaganda though is that it relates a lot to persuasion and a lot of propaganda in the past has played on fear and insecurities - so where is free will?

When I sat staring with great animosity at my salad I felt tired just thinking about removing these tiny specks of green before eating it. 'Coriander is good for you', I thought. Somewhere someone wrote this and placed the idea in my mind, and it's certainly not the sensation coriander creates on my tastebuds that has initiated this thought.

Is this propaganda - or just information and education?
Coriander is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic-acid, vitamin-A, beta carotene and vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Coriander leaves provides 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C. The health benefits of cilantro are many. Its powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that can help one deal with symptoms of arthritis. Coriander leaves offer great relief from stomach indigestion problems and the like. It also helps reduce feelings of nausea. Studies have shown that it has got strong antioxidant properties and it helps promote healthy liver function.
And then there is a choice! I still dislike coriander from an honest heart!

If I think about all the things I have eaten over the years because I read it was good for health or weight management or heightened brain function or whathaveyou, I can see the persuasion in all the messages about good health and greater connection with ourselves and others. It doesn't mean it's good or bad - it only means that we can be left with a lot of confusing messages when we are told potatoes are good for us and next minute they are not.

So propaganda or marketing?

Well, we buy into the messages that trigger our emotional responses and in the end - we are all more than capable of choosing what is right for us and what is less right. Sometimes, however, we are more inclined to go with the masses than our own gut feeling.

Choose wisely and trust your intuition - it makes a huge difference.

Laughter Yoga - non-political, non-religious, Monsanto-free and TOTALLY free from coriander!

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