I’m sure you are familiar with the WIIFM syndrome. What’s In It For Me?
In our society people will change only if it benefits them. Not exatcly a smart behaviour of a species with a highly evolved brain. If I really think about it, it is actually rather stupid and dumn.
In the 21st century to only look at change in a way that will help the ‘me’ is nothing more than a selfish act in my opinion. This also creates an unbalanced world and an unbalanced society in a small scale or big – it doesn’t matter.
This WIIFM attitude can only bring unbalance and inequality. The best example of this is the capitalist system. Rich and poor and a weak middle class=capitalism. The sharp contrast of the very rich and the very poor is frightening and sad at the same time.
And there is the WIIFS syndrome. What’s In It For Society? The best example of that is the communist system. Everything is for the community, for each other. That’s how it is on the surface anyway. Under the surface we have corruption and greed in full power. But as long as the belly is full, education and healthcare is free, society can be managed for a while.
WIIFM has to be balanced with WIIFS. I guess when the two is in balance we can talk about democracy.
In a democratic society people need to have a strong desire to do deeds that benefit society and future generation. It would be foolish to think that we can get rid of the WIIFM thinking. We are only human and greed, putting ourselves first is a trait that we all possess. And as such we all have the mean to control it too.
When we live in a democratic society where everyone (human, plant, animal) counts and people and businesses do things that help society to live a healthier and more fulfilling life suddenly the WIIFM is not that strong anymore. And the reason for that – in my opinion – is that we have a feeling of belonging, a feeling of ‘we all matter’.