Who took my kebab?

August 18, 2014
2 mins read

You probably do not even realize how many companies use your habits, to sell you something. These same habits, however, can be used to prevent the riots.

It is widely known that prevention is better than cure. We all know this. Usually, however, this knowledge is neglected, and we are reminded of the beneficial role of prevention when it is too late. But there are people whose job consists precisely in preventing dangers. They have no choice but to do everything to avoid the worst.

If you ask the average person what he would do to prevent riots, probably he would have said that it is necessary to increase number the policemen, to show the force, and to find a source of the problem and try to solve this at the early stage. Probably it would be the most often answers. But what about situation where showing a force may possibly lead to escalation of the conflict, and to eliminate the causes of the riots is impossible in the short term? With such a problem an army major had to face. How do you think he did? Probably you wouldn’t find such a trivial solution.

He was a major in the army, analyzed video recordings of the recent riots and he identified a pattern: violence usually preceded by the following scenario: in some square or other open space there was gathering a crowd of Iraqis, who in the next few hours was getting bigger and bigger. Then appeared seller of street food. Then someone threw a stone or bottle and it unleash the hell. When Major met with the manager of Kufa, he expressed somewhat bizarre request: can you prohibit food sales at the squares? Sure, said the manager. A few weeks later near the Masjid al-Kufa’s central mosque in the city, there gathered a small crowd. In the afternoon it’s grew. Some people began to chant angry password. Iraqi police, sensing impending trouble, contacted by radio from a military base and asked the US military for support. At dusk, the crowd grew tired and hungry firmly. People began to look for the kebab sellers, who usually appeared on many sites, but no one could be found. Viewers went away. The ones who were singing offensive words succumbed to discouragement. At eight o’clock in the evening on the square, there was nobody. [excerpt from the book “Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg]

[quote_colored name=”” icon_quote=”no”]It’s enough to change small element to change the entire proccess.[/quote_colored]

Brilliant in its simplicity, is not it? It was enough to destroy the routine, remove one element of the scheme of events, so there was no riot. There was a need to satisfy hunger, but on the spot, there was no possibility to eat anything. Instead of a riot, Protestants moved in search of food. Hunger turned out to be stronger than the needs of the manifestation of discontent.

You admit that it is difficult to control the habits. Everybody who wanted to start regular sports activities, stop biting your nails or prevent fry between meals or not eat after 18 – knows that. This knowledge also has the people who want to manage people so that they do exactly what is expected of them.

Well, now, think how many times you changed your plans and you did something totally different than you had to do, just because someone unexpectedly took you the opportunity to eat a kebab as in the Iraqis case?

PS. And by the way, who became hungry looking at the photo?

Marek Molicki

Marek Molicki, since 1998 in the online industry. Extremely motivated to reach goals. Ideas deliverer, problems solver, finder of new ways, the doer. Social media fan, public speaker, trainer. Constantly looking for new skills to learn. Impossible is nothing, it's only the question of time and being consequent.
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