Tweaking Behavior

Tweaking BehaviorNews hit the Web last week, talking about a certain squad-in-the-making in the U.S. that will aim to “nudge” people’s behavior towards the direction that President Barack Obama wants. With the success report of a similar project from the United Kingdom, everyone is apt to think that this system is indeed effective. But is it right to manipulate people’s behavior? Will it have a more desirable outcome for the country?

‘More responsible’

For sure, opinions will erupt left and right about this issue. Some will be optimistic about this project, thinking that within a few years, we will have less violence, more responsible taxpayers, less irresponsible parents, and more model families. Of course, some will negate this notion, thinking that it will be futile and that it is not right to manually tweak people’s behavior just so a “better” country will be realized.


Not to be polarizing here, but maybe we DO need a little tweaking in our behavior. What will all the outrageous behavior and rampage going around, not to mention all the unexplained violence and uncontrolled liberty that our young people are exhibiting. If the present generation of parents cannot control their own children, or rather, cannot guid the next generation towards the right path, then the government stepping in to do the job might just be the help that we need right now.

On the other hand, there’s all the other issues to consider about this project. Will this result in an “artificial” environment wherein everybody will seem to be somebody else and a person’s natural personality is restrained? And how will the people themselves feel about this? Will they feel like a pawn being manipulated in a chessboard, or will they feel happy that finally somebody is providing legitimate guidance?

Which side are you going to be on? Do you think tweaking people’s behavior is a good thing?

Image: Stay at Stove Dad

True Beauty

True BeautyI guess it is safe to say that each person has a different standard for beauty. What I may find exquisitely beautiful may be disappointingly plain in your eyes. Likewise, what you may find extremely attractive may seem hideously repulsive to me. Quite laughable, actually, but quite true also. But no matter how diverse our preferences are, we usually come to terms with a general “standard” for beauty.


So, what makes a person beautiful? Is it the big and expressive eyes or the small and mysterious ones? Tall and straight nose or the button-like cute nose? Full and luscious lips or thin and pale? Or perhaps it’s not the individual details, but the overall effect of the combination of all these facial parts. How about the body structure — long and slender, or short and squat?

With the widespread fad of aesthetic surgery, we have become more superficial in our standard for beauty. We look at the facial features of famous Hollywood actors and copy them. We work out several times a week to achieve the perfect abs of the hottest movie star. We meticulously practice every makeup trick designed to make us look like someone else that we perceive as beautiful. But is beauty really just skin-deep?


Sometimes, we “fall in love” with a person’s looks and find that later on, we cannot bear to be with that person anymore because we cannot bear that person’s bad character. And then, there are times when we meet person who does not quite reach our standard for beauty but we come to love that person deeply in spite of the lack of physical beauty. And yet, when we gaze into that beloved person’s face, we see the most beautiful person in the world.

Beauty, after all, is not just skin-deep. Yes, we can be initially drawn to a person by how he or she looks, but later on, it’s what’s in the heart and character that will radiate outside and show us the real beauty of that person.

How about you — what do you think makes a person beautiful?

Image: Active Rain