“One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.“– Socrates
The Richard Carlson quote ” Don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff” – which he allegedly borrowed from Wayne Dyer is thought of as wisdom itself but there are always examples of the opposite wisdom being true. This is the curiosity of Flexarianism and this blog is a great example of just such an instance.
New York was a crumbling wreck of its former self and there seemed to be no improvement in sight. Enter Mayor Giuliani with his plan to “enforce the small stuff” in line with what is known as the broken window theory, the idea was that if you crack down on the small but visible crimes such as vandalism, littering and even jaywalking then the bigger crimes would also decrease. The critics had a field day but would live to eat their words.
As we are born mimickers if people saw cleaner streets, intact buildings and shop fronts and witnessed fewer others engaging in trivial acts of civil disobedience they would have greater respect for each other, their environment and the laws in general. In short they would become proud of their city. It worked! The critics witnessed widespread improvements.
Psychological research shows that subtle external environmental cues directly impact social behaviour. In this instance sweating the small stuff was exactly what was needed.