Why Malaysian Airlines MH370 is about grief, and about a mystery

What Andersen Cooper pointed out this morning about Malaysian airline MH370 rang a bell. As the rest of the world wonders 24X7 where MH370 is, relatives of passengers on the flight wonder where their loved ones are? The people grieving wonder about their loved ones. For them its about their dads, moms, sons daughters, grandsons, granddaughters and so on. It isn't about a plane, its about people, their loved ones!

Its easy to see why when most wonder where the plane is, a few wonder where their loved ones are. For the rest of the world its about the disappearance of a plane, for the grieving its about a possible loss (though I hope it isn't) of loved ones. The rest of world focus on the plane as they have no stakes in the loss of MH370; not so for the grieving. To the latter, its all too personal!

As humans we are wired to obsess about ourselves. Its almost always about us. At times for us 'incidents' hit home, only because its personal. At other times we stay disconnected because we have no stakes in what's happening. When it comes to consumption, note, its always about us. We consume for ourselves. Its easy to be consumers because it comes naturally to us. After all consumption is about fulfilling our needs, innate or acquired. Its being a marketer that's not easy at all. To get marketing to bear fruit (read, sales) marketers must acquire the skills to read the needs of others. This requires them to step out of their own selves and step into the psyches and lives of their consumers. I can tell you, that doesn't come easy.

As for MH370, for now it remains a missing flight to the rest of the world. MH370 will take on a completely new meaning if the rest of the world tried to understand the grief of those who had loved ones on the plane. MH370 will then move from being a missing flight to one that's taken away people who are loved and are being grieved for. 


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