As a response to my previous post, Brian Barker of Esperanto Lobby wrote, “I’ve come to the conclusion that ignorance, rather than prejudice, is holding Esperanto back.”
He’s probably correct in that ignorance plays a far greater role than prejudice. My remarks in the post of May 14 not withstanding, most people simply don’t have an opinion on Esperanto, as it has absolutely no perceived impact on their lives.
It follows then, that if we would like to get more people to learn Esperanto, we should demonstrate that it does have a beneficial impact on their lives.
But people are funny that way. I could show statistics and studies until the moon goes blue from cold, and maybe, perhaps, I’ll convince one or two people.
Is that how advertising agencies try to change your mind? No. When was the last time you saw a television commercial that tried to use logic to convince you to buy a product?
Ad agencies will use all kinds of tricks to get you to consider their products “cool”. Hip. Happening. With it. All the rage. The A-list celebrities use it.
How do we do that with Esperanto? Good question. Perhaps a movie showing Brad Pitt declaring undying love to Anglina Jolie in Esperanto. I guarantee that will kick-start the movement in particular demographics. How about product placement in soap operas?
Great, now we just need to find somebody to bankroll those ideas.
Until then, the Esperanto movement will continue to grow by small numbers until either —
1. It reaches some critical mass when suddenly a lot of people will jump on the bandwagon,
2. some economic-political crisis necessitates it. I don’t see this happening any time soon, but then, I didn’t foresee the fall of the Berlin Wall, either. One day, it just wasn’t there anymore.
So, who knows?