Several weeks ago I landed in Shenzhen and rushed off to the taxi stand outside the airport. Soon enough I jumped into a cab and headed to Nanshan district to my hotel. Once I settled in the cab I noticed with a surprise two things:
- The taxi cab driver was a young guy (not actually a surprise but it became one once paired with the second item)
- The driver had all sort of Lei Feng memorabilia in his car — a sticker on the steering wheel, a flag with Lei Feng's face hanging from the rear view mirror, etc.
So, I could not exactly miss the opportunity to chat with the driver about this. I had not seen or heard about Lei Feng since the early 1990s when I was a student in China.
Then I also came across a whole set of media write-ups and TV articles on the subject. Here is a video clip from CCTV :
Then I came across a whole Web site dedicated to Lei Feng. I decided — this is getting too much — but then I thought about it and sure enough – it makes sense. The Chinese authorities certainly need a role model and a social stimulus that can divert attention from all the Western influences of brands (I wonder how many Chinese can spell many of the fancy brands well — I bet many) to the "wholesome aspect of self sacrifice" for the community and country.
Here is one more video — this time on Lei Feng's story:
This phenomenon is certainly having a new effect in China – you may not notice it immediately but there are certainly attempts by the local and Central Gov't to get people acting accordingly. I have seen enough public medical check stations across Beijing (and other cities), also organized clean up efforts, to know that the attempts are being made….
Now if we can only figure out a way in which Lei Feng is also impemented in business? How about we institute a day when vendors and customers work for each other Just kidding…