Our choices reflect our environment.
Our environments are largely designed.
In regards to the Nelson Mandela quote above, hopeful choices reflect an environment designed in hopefulness, versus a fearful choice reflecting a fearful environment.
Choice architecture explores how structures and context influence individual feelings and subsequent reactions – choices if you will – whether those reactions are blaringly conscious or quietly determined in the subconscious.
The people responsible for designing our environments (HR professionals, politicians, interior designers) have massive responsibility on their shoulders. Once you consider the many ways that our environments are designed to provoke a certain reaction (productivity at work, reception to public policy, comfort in the lobby of a restaurant which in turn compels you to spend more) … you can’t un-consider it.
Ah – but wait. These people in positions of power aren’t the only ones responsible for the design of our environment. We contribute too, if we choose to engage.
Employees. Civil participants. Community dwellers.
Are we designing environments of hope? Or are we designing environments of fear?