A Little Nudge

Nudge-cover (1)This introduction is quite intriguing and raises more questions rather than answers. Such as how many of our choices are or own and how many are influenced by others? Products and brands might be a really good example of that. What do we buy and why? Do we REALLY like Mountain Dew? Or do we drink it because it is familiar over trying something new? What laundry detergent do we buy because it was at eye level? or that is what mom used to buy?

Yet, as the book described, this nudge in the right direction may be a good thing. The example of the kids picking out food I felt was important. Kids left to their own devices are going to eat a lot of junk food and very little healthy items. Kids don’t know that eating half a pound of candy might make them very ill and therefore it won’t be worth eating in the first place. Therefore, if you subtly encourage kids to choose items that are better for them they will likely take such choices and carry it with them for many years.

For other things, like insurance and retirement plans, having ways to make it easier for people is also valuable. Why make it harder on everyone? I see this with my grandma, who is in failing health and mind. If I can encourage her to think about things a different way, or explain to her calmly what is happening with a situation or decision, I can often nudge her to make a better choice for her, rather than one she has been pushed into by other people or from being uninformed.

As long as nudges come with good intentions and good repercussions, we can hope they will be used to improve lives. We also still have the very real power of questioning what we buy into and deciding for ourselves.

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