Good News Tucson Magazine's Blog

The Premiere Christian Magazine for Southern Arizona

How to Change People’s Behavior

People often ask me, “How do I get other people to do what I want them to do?” Because I am a small business owner, most of the people I talk to are also small business owners.  I am a pastor of a small church, too, so I deal with people of all walks of life: teachers, physicians, professors, attorneys, accountants, sales people, trades people and regular employees to name just a few.  Seems everyone responsible for leading or teaching is asking the same question.

There are only two ways to get people to do what you want them to do. One is by reason, the other by is force.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.  You should persuade someone to follow you or your ideas by convincing them your proposition is in their best interest. The American way has never restricted anyone from persuasively arguing their position.

However, history has proven not everyone is willing to argue their point. The second way to persuade people is as Mao Zedong said, “…change anywhere in the world must come from the barrel of a gun.”  For over 230 years the threat of force has not been considered a valid method of social interaction in the United States. The threat of force by our government has been soundly rejected as a social norm in our country.

Founding Father James Madison said, “We have staked the whole future of the American civilization, not upon the power of the government (but) upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

Human nature being what it is and governments doing what they naturally do, it has taken 234 years for Americans to willingly relinquish their individual freedoms one by one to a government that wants to force us into doing what those in power want us to do. Whether it is being forced to buy health care, to reduce my carbon footprint, to eat less fat or whatever other arbitrary social experiment for the greater good those in power have decided is best for everyone in the nation, no one can deny that we are now being forced, not persuaded.

The Founding Fathers wrote our constitution and through the years we have added amendments to protect us from those who would implement change by force. If the constitution fails, what are we to do to preserve our freedom? Our first President, George Washington said, “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.”

That statement sounds like something Tea Partiers would be accused of saying to agitate the masses, but that was the first president of the United States. I might even be called seditious for quoting George Washington.

Thomas Jefferson made it clear that he understood the difference between freedom and tyranny when he penned, “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1) Those who fear and distrust the people. 2) Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe depository of the public interest.”

I agree with Jefferson. I trust the American people will do what is right!  That is why I love this country.

There are people in America who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society. Because I know that there will always be evil people who want to force their will upon others, removing individual ownership of firearms only makes their job easier.

I don’t believe anyone ought to carry a firearm looking for a fight.  Owning a gun and knowing how to use it ought to be the responsibility of every American. Carrying a gun doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Show me any other nation in the world that trusts its people like America. Show me any other nation where ideas are freely discussed and change comes through sound reason not force.  Show me any other country in the world whose citizens are free to pursue their dreams.

America is indeed the last best chance on earth for people to enjoy freedom and pursue their dreams without the threat of force. Don’t take it for granted.

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June 1, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Very uplifting article.

    I appreciated your comment, “I might even be called seditious for quoting George Washington.” It’s sad that one even has to put a qualifier in a commentary like that, but such are the times we live in.

    Your comment, ‘There are only two ways to get people to do what you want them to do. One is by reason, the other by is force.’ got me thinking how God spoke to us in the bible, “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

    We have a reasonable faith in a reasonable God (not a blind faith or one that is coerced by others). That same God-inspired reasonableness was crafted into our country’s Constitution. God blessed our founding fathers. Do we have the courage to defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic? I pray so.

    Comment by Roddy Spencer | June 11, 2010 | Reply


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