When communicating about ecology and social working conditions often shocking images are used. Images that show how bad a situation is now at a certain place. Images that show dying birds, waste and poor working conditions. We need to change that. Let’s show the opposite. Let’s spread images about inventive people, beautiful scenes of nature, inspiring quotes, improving situations. Beautiful images!
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” (Zig Ziglar – I think)
We all learn from repeating. And most of the learning we do is unconscious. Without really considering and thinking about it we accept what has been said and shown over and over again.
There is nothing wrong about that. That is just how our brains work. Knowing that we can influence our thoughts by consciously receiving a certain kind of messages. That is why passionate people accomplish more in a certain field that anyone else who tries to do the same. They just see the things they want even before they accomplished it. And then they act upon.
Not everyone is as passionate about sustainability as I am. Most people agree that ecology and social conditions are – at least somehow – important. But it’s not a fixed image in their mind. Their mind is programmed by what they see, hear and feel. By talk with collegues, soaps on television, newspapers, radio, etc.
What we see and hear most of all is what forms our thoughts. And our thought gives shape to our actions.
What most people see and hear about sustainability is not the beautiful images of it. That’s not how the mainstream media works. They give shocking images. Sometimes it is very necessary. But it is not all the time. Then we get to learn that this is the normal situation.
Beautiful images give direction to our deeds
The images we have in our minds are what we strive for. That works consciously and subconsciously. When we see our house clean and tidy in our mind – we cannot stand the feeling that stuff is laying on the ground. We’ll pick it up and put it on the right spot.
You might see yourself as a careful driver. As soon as you drive too fast – you will lower the speed in order to become more careful.
Our internal image gives direction to our actions. That is also why people throw away dirt on de ground at dirty places. That is the image of that place. And the same people use the waste bin at tidy places.
That is why it is so important to spread mainly positive images and stories. So many that “good” becomes the norm.
Let’s talk about people that are planting trees in the desert, about biodegradable plastics, about products that last for a lifetime.
Let’s show pictures from they way it should be. A blue ocean, green cities, laughing people, …
Just because the mainstream doesn’t care too much. They won’t do the effort to make changes towards more ecological behavior. But if the only thing they would see would be positive behavior – they cannot resist anymore in joining.
That is what we have to give to the youth (most of all), to teachers, to collegues and anyone else.
We need to integrate this positive images in our communication. It doesn’t take too much effort? Yet, the gains might be bigger than you can image.