All right, how do we make people really change their consuming behaviours?.....
Well of course firstly we cannot ‘make’ anyone change except by regulation or force and then it is often with reluctance or resistance. What does make us voluntarily change our behaviours to the point of becoming a new habit? How do we change from throwing our scraps into the bin to establishing a well maintained composting system or remembering to take our reusable bags automatically when we plan to leave the house to shop?
Firstly we have to be ‘mind’ ready. There are very few instances where a blinding light will turn our habits on their head and we will walk the new enlightened path. There has been some priming there before. It may have been years ago;- a passing comment from a teacher, the lifestyle of a friend, the quirky actions of an aunt all contribute to how we see life.
Secondly we cannot predict when others will ‘get it’ and how this will be revealed. A personal example is my younger daughter who had 24 years of intensive ‘how we should all live’ programming, with little response on her part. Six months ago she asked for assistance to create a ‘make it yourself worm farm’. Now she regularly swears by the benefits castings have on her garden and was in tears when the worms were accidently overlooked by recent house-sitters resulting in a few fatalities!
A recent YouTube video posted on the TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) website showed ‘how to start a movement’ by filming a lone dancer at a festival. He was having fun but looked silly and a bit crazy. Until another person got up and joined him, followed by many more. Eventually it looked silly to be the ones sitting down. The commentator, said the brave person was the second dancer, who took the confident step to follow the first way out crazy mover. Where do we stand in the crowd?
What has all this got to do with ‘changing behaviour’? Initially any behaviour modification needs a good examination of ‘self’. What do we need to change about ourselves? I suggest we should always stay open to new ideas and fantastic schemes, as someone said;- we have 2 ears and only 1 mouth. However to impart or evangelise some of the amazing possibilities of a more simple lifestyle to the wider world will require patience, persistence, and friends to talk to and get support. We may not be the ones who are there for the ‘ah ha’ moment but be sure we may be part of the journey for those around us who open to a less ‘consumptive’ experience of life.
The most successful movers of change are those who are consistent in their actions and words, can be resilient to illogical sceptics, maintain a keen sense of humour, and listen more than speak.
11 Feb 2013 9:31 AM