The Modern Family Effect

genieThe rate of change in the world seems to be speeding up.

How does change in the US occur these days? There’s growing acceptance for reasonable things that just a few years ago weren’t even on the table, ideas such as gay marriage, legalizing marijuana, fixing excessive incarceration, and more.

The changes in attitudes probably result from many sources. For example, consider gay marriage. I think the wildly popular TV show, Modern Family was a factor in the pivot to acceptance.

The show presents a gay couple as just an unremarkable part of an extended family beset by funny situations. Societal bottlenecks open more when “others” become “people like us.” People lead and governments follow when enough people come around. But there’s no predicting how long it takes for the obvious to become apparent.

I wonder about what’ll happen about bigger, global issues, like pollution and overpopulation.

Even though the universe is immense, we’re on a tiny particle orbiting a sun that’s traveling among a hundred billion suns in our galaxy which is just one of a billion other galaxies that we know of.

We’re latecomers in a vast, very old evolving drama. It’s unlikely the universe was set up as a sandbox that’s just for us. Disturbing a very old complicated system is a bad idea because we can’t completely understand the logic that it’s following.

When there weren’t many people it was hard to disturb the system. Not any more. Instead of leaving the system more or less alone to function as it has been doing, we’re polluting it and disrupting the ancient complicated system we depend on.

It’s hard for most people to accept, so it’s a waste of time trying to persuade them to do things differently. The best thing to do is find a messenger who people relate to; someone whose  charisma draws other people in. You want someone to think,”People like us do things this way.” Something like a “Modern Family” did.

The right messenger can pitch the failing system of potholes, bumps, and cracks as a path, an adventure. Get people thinking “People like us need to do something about this.”

People like buying stuff more than saving. Maybe fixing global issues can be reframed from “saving the planet” to “spending to buy a cool place to live.”