In 2009, Fiona Broome created a website that detailed what she called, “The Mandela Effect”. As the story goes, she was at a conference and mentioned that she remembered the death of Nelson Mandela in the 1980’s and his wife’s eulogy. The problem with her memory is that Nelson Mandela didn’t die in the 80’s, he died in 2013. But, what was weird to her was that at this same conference a whole bunch of people had the same memory of Mandela’s death in the 80’s. Later she went on to chronicle a number of other famous memories that many people have, but just aren’t true. There is a long list of these that I won’t go into but do you remember that movie in the 1990’s called Shazaam with Sinbad playing the lead character? If you do, then you have experienced the Mandela Effect personally as that movie never was. There is a scientific reason this happens as our brain will store things that are similar to others and make up a story that tries to make sense of what we might not actually know. It makes brain sense to here that after so many years in prison that Nelson Mandela would have died there, but it didn’t happen. Just as Alexander Hamilton was never a U.S. President, but so many people will tell you that they learned in school that he was (BTW, happy belated President’s Day). Why is this relevant to us? Well, we experience the Mandela Effect in business as well. We can begin to remember the wrong facts and series of events and create stories around them. And then it shows up as we challenge who created what, who first said it, or who promised what to whom? Staying disciplined to the truth and facts is not easy, but it’s the only way we can operate our businesses as they should be operated.
I’ve been asked more than once if I could return to a time in history when would it be? It’s easy for me. I would have wanted to live in the time of Jesus’ ministry and have seen Him with my own eyes and heard him with my own ears. I would have wanted to be at the sermon on the mount, among the thousands who had first-hand account of how Jesus spoke and the emotions that He stirred among the multitudes. But, we have God’s Word to give us an actual account of Jesus. There is no Mandela Effect that occurs if we remain in God’s Word as our source for how we operate our lives, today!
Reference: 2 Samuel 7:28 (New Living Translation)