I have been telling the story of the Rider, the Elephant and the Path for a very long time. It's a lovely little story/analogy first told by NYU's Jonathan Haidt. Haidt describes how every single behaviour and habit is comprised of three coordinated elements: our knowledge and critical thinking about the behavior (The Rider), our motivation for doing the behavior (The Elephant) and the environment where the behavior occurs (The Path) and how these three interact. Take a look at the video above for a little refresher. I'll wait here.. As we watch COVID sweep across the world, think about : 1) What does your Rider know about COVID transmission and prevention of COVID? 2) What motivates your Elephant to consistently practice COVID-preventive measures like wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly and physical distancing? 3) What or who is on your Path that either helps you to stay COVID-free or is a barrier to staying safe?
This exercise of studying your own Rider, Elephant and Path and thus readying yourself to help others read their Rider, Elephant and Path and see where we can support them with:
1) information (Rider, let me give you some facts about COVID),
2) identifying what motivates them to be safe (Elephant, tell me what you most value and treasure and we'll use that to motivate you to be safer), and,
3) identifying what and who can support them in doing the necessary behaviors (Let's clear that Path and outfit it with the things and people that will help you make safer behaviors easier to do/access).