Inform to Influence — Not to just be merely be right
I was watching The Majority Report with Sam Seder’s episode on Bill Nye talking on Climate Change on CNN — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOG24mXhKWY
Sam said this statement that has stuck
“When people get overwhelmed by a message of crisis & complexity they feel powerless to influence it.”
This statement made me think of just how much, especially in the recent past, in an age of ‘post-truth’ where the focus is almost exclusively about what information is being dished out and much much less on what is expected from the recipients of the information.
What that statement essentially drives at is this: people don’t necessarily mind information but if you keep bombarding them with dystopian-esque, doom & gloom information without a tangible course of action will be met with resistance. Human kind generally want to be happy so anything that distorts that, albeit misguided & naive idea, usually gets resisted.
What;s the consequence of crisis & complexity information overload, especially with no solutions offered?
The result is that whoever steps up with even the most outlandish solutions to the already known problems by the seemingly “smarter & not afraid to tell you they are smarter” people.
Case in point; Trump offered solutions (unrealistic) but solutions nonetheless and the necessary people resonated with them. By contrast, Hillary and Democrats were informed on the issues but their solutions were drowned out by their need to.
Herein is another theory,
“if we focus on refuting alternative facts, someone will come offer alternative solutions and it’s to them that the majority will listen to.”
Simply put, ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS are much more palatable than the relentless need to refute ALTERNATIVE FACTS.
That said, “alternative facts” which really is the outright denial of facts, should be fought by actual facts — INFORMATION — but, like the gist of this article points to, this needs to be balanced with a call to influence change on the part of the recipients of the information.
As you dish out information, remember to also give the receivers of the info a reason to influence change otherwise, they will shut down and open up to the next solution offered, however misguided. And then, we will have a new problem.
Bottom line: Inform but empower