Part 2 of the Lead, to Change Violence. If you missed part 1, you can find it here. Let’s get plugged into leadership and look at part 2.
What can you do to have an impact? Literally taking a page from Malcolm’s book and pulling resources from other places like Vital Smart’s book “Influencer”, I think we can do something.
In the book “Influencer” the authors focus on starting with a goal. Our goal should to stop gun violence in America. Now that we have that out of the way, we need to move to the next step in the process and that is finding vital behaviors that stop us from reaching our goals. Influencer looks at Dr. WiWat’s efforts for stopping the spread of HIV in Thailand. After the release of prisoners the virus spread at an alarming rate. There were a number of failed attempts to stop the spread of HIV seen here: “WiWat’s team distributed posters. They held education sessions. They convinced celebrities to broadcast television and radio spots. Despite their best efforts, WiWat and his teammates failed. After two exhausting, expensive, and deadly years, Thai researchers found that they had accomplished nothing. The problem had actually grown far worse.”
WiWat had to find the vital behavior that caused the spread and focus on that. Through his team’s research they found that one behavior could have a huge impact. More from the book: “It was when a sex worker chose—or did not choose—to demand the use of a condom. WiWat had uncovered (1) the crucial moment (the point at which if you acted differently, you’d avoid the disease), and (2) the vital behavior that needed to follow. If he could influence 100 percent of the country’s sex workers to act differently in this moment, he could nearly stop the spread of HIV in Thailand. That became his primary strategy. He’d find a way to get every single sex worker to comply with the condom code. And much to the surprise of the world’s epidemiologists, WiWat’s plan worked. He helped save millions of lives.”
So how do we change the violence epidemic in America in spite of our slow, fractionated legal process? What are the vital behaviors that we can notice in our lives to stop the spread of violence? I would say, based on the research found in these 2 books, a number of articles, and other failed attempts at change, it is to STOP THE MESSAGE. One thing that you can do is to turn off the TV when those types of stories come on the news. Don’t give it an ear, don’t buy the paper the day after it happens, don’t read the NY Times article or share the news story on social media. Let it just pass on by. Prompt the things you want to happen. The generosity that is going on in the world. Prompt a cause than needs people’s true attention. Resist the need for information about the shooter(s). If you are ok with innocent kids, movie goers, government workers and others being gunned down then continue to tell the media, movie producers, TV producers, actors, video game producers and would be criminals that it is ok by giving it your ATTENTION.
Attention is a currency in and of itself. We crave it, need it, seek it, want it, sell it, and are depressed when we don’t get it. We have conditioned people, almost unknowingly, that if they want our attention they can get it with sex and/or violence (The sex thing is another whole article but we can apply the same principles). What if generosity, compassion, kindness, helping each other, and other good decisions are what we truly want to define our culture? Like the kids at school, when I stop chasing them, they stopped stealing my hat. If we stop chasing violence as entertainment, I am confident will we see a dramatic decrease in the types of tragedies that have defined the last 20 years.
Commit to End the violence, turn it off by signing the online petition saying you will turn it off!