World leaders will be traveling to Nelson Mandela's ancestral home in Qunu to attend his funeral. As the media reports, this very human rite of mourning could be the biggest display of tribute for an icon since the funeral of war hero Winston Churchill. Here is just one piece on that.
However, since mankind discovered the power of being seen at a public event and networking, funerals have given movers and shakers unique competitive opportunities. Just the photo-ops can be extraordinary. They will be truly fortunate if the cameras keep panning on them.
In best-selling "This Town," Mark Leibovich chronicles how well attended was the funeral of the voice of objectivity Tim Russert. Here you can check out that book. Not being there would have put one at a competitive disadvantage in the influence game. The world would wonder if you hadn't received an invitation.
The influentials can get the edge in their media interviews by celebrating Mandela's life, not reflecting on the unsolved problems of people of color and all of us who are different in any way. The U.S. economy leads the way and this month the news has been good. Everyone wants to hear happy talk. There has been too much darkness since 9/11 and the recession it generated.
Those of us who weren't invited to Qunu can participate by passing along words of optimism and hope to those in our circles. The media may stand by its fundamental of if it bleeds it leads but in daily life good tidings get the attention.