Today is Cinco de Mayo—or May 5. For some, this is just another day. For others, it is an excuse to do things that you hope never end up on Facebook or Twitter. Nevertheless, today contains a much richer, inspiring story that has—presumably—been lost in history.
The origin of Cinco de Mayo
May 5 is not special because of the discounts on Margaritas and tacos at your local Mexican restaurant. Today commemorates the victory by the Mexican army at the first Battle of Puebla in 1862 over the French. The French army was moving swiftly toward Mexico City until the Mexican army forced them to rethink their approach. While the French eventually succeeded in defeating the Mexican army in a follow up battle, their bravery became a point of national pride. As Time Magazine puts it: “…the Puebla victory came to symbolize unity and pride for what seemed like a Mexican David defeating a French Goliath.”
Facts don’t go viral; Stories do.
Cinco de Mayo contains two important lessons nonprofits need to embrace:
- Stories are more powerful than facts. Many nonprofits hinge their storytelling content on facts. While those facts are important, they are not the vehicle that will empower others to spread and share your message.
- You don’t have control of your story. The story that others tell about you is much more important than the stories we tell about ourselves. The stories others tell about you reveal how they perceive you and where your organization intersects with their plan to lead a life of significance and meaning.
Tell your story. Listen to the story others tell about you. But avoid the temptation to think others care about the facts as much as you do.
Are you focused on getting the facts correct or telling stories the bring people together?
Photo Credit: iStock Photo
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