I read something on the internet the other day.. something along the lines of “home remedies meet the 21st century” Something about if you put a virtue you really, really want as a blog title, 64.39 days later you will blessed with an overabundance of that virtue. I’ll let you know how this works. (Plus we should be in the heart of harvest at that time, so I’m sure I’ll need some!)
Anyway, I’m thinking a lot about the idea of behavior change recently. For those involved in agriculture agvocacy, it really gets to the core of what we are trying to accomplish. We see a lot of garbage/lies/misinformation out there regarding food production today, and ultimately that information causes what we believe is bad behavior. And it’s important to note here that oftentimes sound science, reasonable options to properly manage a resource-limited planet, get swept under the rug because of mis-information or lack of knowledge. But ultimately what we want to accomplish in agriculture agvocacy is having influence in order to change behavior.
Thinking about this, changing behavior can be much larger than just what we eat. Changing behavior is a desired goal in many, many situations. If your a parent, you get the need for changed behavior! (well, if you have anything resembling normal kids that is…) As a society we have an entire criminal justice system built around attempts to change behavior, although one could really question whether the approaches used are working there. We may work with people, go to church with people, have friends, and if we’re in the mood to be honest admit that we ourselves have behavior that needs changed.
In all of these cases, I’m struck by one thing: Almost without exception, true, lasting, genuine behavior change is a slow process. We all make a big deal about dramatic conversions.. the sever alcoholic that came home one night, vowed never to drink again and succeeded. The cheating spouse who finally decides they’ve had enough of the lies and deceit. The crazy foodie who meets a couple of farmers and dramatically changes her views. But for every story of instant change, there’s a hundred more of painfully slow if any progress, of two steps backward and only one forward.
And now you see the real reason for my post title, patience is the single virtue I think we all need more of. Especially so in our 24/7 instant answer world today. Change takes time, change is slow, real lasting change is not easy, but worth it. This applies as much to agriculture agvocacy as it does to many areas of life.