When people push for change and it doesn’t happen, they often chalk it up to a lack of understanding
An excerpt from Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard (in Chapter 5, Find the Feeling):
When people push for change and it doesn’t happen, they often chalk it up to a lack of understanding. A mom grouses, “If my daughter just understood that her driving habits are dangerous, she’d change.” A scientist says, “If we could just get Congress to understand the dangers of global warming, they’d surely take legislative action.”
But when people fail to change, it’s not usually because of an understanding problem. Smokers understand that cigarettes are unhealthy, but they don’t quit. American automakers in the early twenty-first century knew they were too dependent on the sales of SUVs and trucks (and thus on low oil prices), but they didn’t innovate.
At some level, we understand this tension. We know there’s a difference between knowing how to act and being motivated to act. But when it comes time to change the behavior of other people, our first instinct is to teach them something. Smoking is really unhealthy! Your chemotherapy medicine is really important! We speak to the Rider when we should be speaking to the Elephant.