Old Habit Die Hard
Change is often hard...especially when the change is about something you've been doing for a long time. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Clean your plate. Flush the toilet. Sense a pattern?
We all have behaviors planted firmly in our hearts and minds, reinforced over and over by years of doing. We do these things without one moments thought - they are habits. Whole systems are built around them. Public restrooms for example. For years, architects and builders counted on the fact that you would hear your mother's voice before you exited the stall, reminding you to flush! Worked well, mostly.
Then along came change. Automatically flushed toilets. A novelty at first. (Honestly, they scared the you-know-what out of people the first time they encountered one. My favorite is when they flush before you're done.) But of course, they weren't everywhere so we continued responsible flushing. But as Malcolm Gladwell taught us, there is a tipping point.
Finally there were more automatic flush toilets in public places than the old-fashioned do-it-yourself variety and our habits started to change. Mom's voice was silenced. We expected the flushing to occur without our active participation.
Hence the sign I discovered on the stall door in the public restrooms in the Greenheck Field House in Weston, WI. After trying to figure out why it was there, it dawned on me. The Greenheck Field House, although fairly new, was built before automatic toilets became the norm and is now frequented by people who no longer believe they have an obligation to flush. Problem! Some clever person must have decided that this sign would fill the place vacated by a mother's voice saying, "Don't forget to flush, dear." At least the day I was there the sign seemed to be working.
What I'm working on now is the equivalent for changing that clean your plate message.
On another note, this blog would not have been possible without another big change - phones you carry with you and have cameras built in. If you write a blog that is tied to pictures, more important than American Express, you never want to leave home without your Trio!