We’re Number Seven …

These are words from Bono that appeared in the Globe and Mail the other day. They have been taken from an article written by Bono originally found in the NY Times.

“In the same week that Mr. Obama won the Nobel, the United States was ranked as the most admired country in the world, leapfrogging from seventh to the top of the Nation Brands Index survey — the biggest jump any country has ever made. Like the Nobel, this can be written off as meaningless … a measure of Mr. Obama’s celebrity (and we know what people think of celebrities).

But an America that’s tired of being the world’s policeman, and is too pinched to be the world’s philanthropist, could still be the world’s partner. And you can’t do that without being, well, loved. Here come the letters to the editor, but let me just say it: Americans are like singers — we just a little bit, kind of like to be loved. The British want to be admired; the Russians, feared; the French, envied. (The Irish, we just want to be listened to.) But the idea of America, from the very start, was supposed to be contagious enough to sweep up and enthrall the world.”

Canada has dropped considerably in world rankings as the American label has risen. Even though its so-called brand recognition and appeal is rising our dollar is continuing to stay strong. Hopefully it lasts until Christmas. Here is the “expert” opinion found in the article about our slide in the rankings.

“I suspect because in the absence of any very detailed knowledge of, or familiarity with, Canada, most people see it as a simple stereotype: a kind of ‘not-America’ or ‘America through the looking glass’. So when the US is viewed negatively, Canada is viewed positively, but when the US returns to favour – as it is now doing – then Canada loses meaning and relevance. If people feel they can trust America, they no longer need Canada. Not a great situation, to have your national reputation tied to someone else’s.”

As I thought about how reputation can be based on outside forces, I wondered how much control youth have on their own reputation even though it may consume their every thought. It seems to me that they really are not in control of their own reputation at all. It is those around them that hold all the power.

ht to the Globe and Mail


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