My father and I went to see Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie based off of his book: Obama’s America 2016 and I admit, it chilled me to the bone. Uniquely researched, precisely prophetic, and overall an excellent film, I recommend it to each and every one of you. And although 2016 was a political documentary, there are some points in it that I believe every entrepreneur and writer can learn from and employ in their own career practices.
The absentee father, the activist mother, the questionable “Founding Fathers”…these are those who formulate the history of President Obama. Good, bad, or ugly (in nature, not appearance), these individuals made our president who he is.
His mother, despite the temporary existence of an Indonesian stepfather, praised Barack Obama Sr. to their son despite his bigamy, despite his absence, despite his true character, she created a laudable figure for the young fatherless boy to cling to and cling he does, even to this day.
His maternal grandfather introduced “Barry” Obama to the first of many unsavoury characters who would come to form what D’Souza “affectionately” refers to as the president’s “Founding Fathers”. People, events, and ideas shaped the history of the great nation that we are today and it is the same for the man comfortably seated in the Oval Office.
What is your history? Whose influence makes you who you are today? What kind of blood runs through your veins? Were you conditioned to be hardworking and trustworthy or are you wishy-washy and self-centered? Do you appreciate the morals and values you’ve been taught or do you hide certain belief systems when it’s not socially convenient? What you are taught; what flows through your veins is exactly what your empire will be built upon.
Your Values=Your Motivation
D’Souza relied heavily on President Obama’s book: Dreams from My Father for the documentation of his own book. He points out intelligently that the book is entitled Dreams from my Father, not “Dreams of my Father” indicating that the president’s book—and, in fact, his entire life and career—is based off of his father’s dreams; not the American Dream; not a personal dream, but a paternal dream. There is nothing wrong with this in and of itself; however, the substance of the dream(s) is what makes it good or bad. It is the motivation behind every speech and decision made from the Oval Office that drives Barack Hussein Obama Jr. to be who he wants to be and to make America into what he thinks it should be.
So the important question is what are your values? Whose values drive you, your business, or your literature? Hopefully, you are not basing your goals off of someone else’s unrealised dream or something with no true substance. Are your values godly? Do they concern excellence, honesty, servant-leadership and other important qualities or are they more superficial or godless in nature? You decide. But whatever you decide will permeate through whatever you build.
At one point of the film, Dinesh speak about President Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the aftermath following the distance made between the two of them following the Reverend’s “God damn America” comments.
President Obama: “You know what your problem is?”
Reverend Wright: “What’s my problem?”
President Obama: “You have to tell the truth.”
Reverend Wright: “That’s a pretty good problem to have.”
Agree or disagree with Rev. Wright (and just for the record, I disagree strongly), he is true to what he believes and maintains that honesty with everyone he encounters. President Obama—and many politicians—change as the scenery dictates. Obama doesn’t just adjust to suit his surroundings, he transforms and there is distinct difference between the two.
When Rev. Wright became an embarrassment to the soon-to-be-president, he “put him away” as an archaic man or king would put away a shameful or barren wife. It didn’t matter that the president actually agrees with his pastor; he would rather present a carefully fabricated façade to present that is more wholesome and American in nature to secure his presidency. And guess what? It worked. Yet now, he’s got numerous groups of people—many of which voted him into office—that are displeased with his unfulfilled promises and beginning to see him for who he really is.
Honesty is important. Honesty does matter. People still get mad when their trust is broken or disproven. Is this how your clients feel about you? Do you overpromise and under-deliver? Do you promise them one thing and give them another? Do you have hidden fees and rates that snag your customers and leave them angry and upset? Or do you give your clients what they expect? Your personal and corporate level of honesty matters to your clients and if you or your employees develop a reputation of under-delivering and dishonesty, then your best and free marketing—word of mouth—will advertise an undesirable—although earned—presentation of your business. Is that what you really want?
Cultivate honesty; it’ll take you further and farther than you could ever imagine.
Things Are Not What They Appear
A carefully crafted image; an award-winning piece of fiction. This is the increasingly clear picture that we are drawing from our president. Important sealed records, “authentic” birth certificates, denials of close associations… D’Souza’s film answers a lot of questions that the American people have or should have about our president (his family, friends, upbringing, worldview, etc.). In truth, the man we elected was an enigma—a beautiful enigma—but an enigma just the same. We didn’t really know anything about him or what made him who he is. We only knew what we were allowed to know.
Crafting a reputation or appearance is not a bad thing. However, there is a thin line between “putting your best foot forward” and putting a false foot forward. It’s like make-up: make-up is meant to be an enhancement, an accessory if you will, of what is already there; it is not meant to be a full-on mask to transform completely what is seen.
Be sure that the image you personally and corporately present is, in fact, who and what you are as a person and entity; not a completely other person/entity.
President Obama was elected on hope. “Hope” in “Change” and moving “Forward” are natural desires and inclinations. We want change and we want to move forward. These are natural desires and inclinations of any human being. Hope will always sell.
Do you sell hope? If so, what kind of hope are you selling? The hope that you will look better, sound better, or be better after purchasing your products or reading your books? Is it the hope that this product will boost your business your hone your ministerial skills? Hope is important. Without it, you don’t really have anything that’s worth selling. Just make sure that your product is actually worth selling (or worth writing). You don’t want to disappoint your client’s hope in your or your company.
Love him, hate him, Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016 film is a must-see and will teach you a lot about a lot. History, values, honesty, hope (or the lack thereof), this is what makes you the person and brand that you are.
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Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA Weddings, DA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog. As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world. Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com!