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Making choices in public

Passengers should refuse to ride in any vehicle driven by someone who has been drinking. Besides, given the perils of passive smoking they should also not let anybody smoke in public transport and any other public places. And there are many such things which people should do but they don’t. Reasons can be aplenty. “What I have to do?”, “I cannot do it alone” and “Look my contribution will hardly make a difference in the situation.” These are some of the common justifications.

But the clouds have a silver lining. People mostly do nothing about it because they don’t care. They weigh their costs associated with it interfering in such matters more than the perceived benefits. One way to change their behavior can be to sensitize them and make them aware of the risks they face due to such careless acts. The individuals who drink and drive are liable to strict punishments by the police. Those who drive the public transport can be both punished by the people as well as the police. The people have to do it for their own. Here too, the theory of “the invisible hand” by Adam Smith goes well. The self interest of the people can be the best force to drive them toward something desirable for them. I believe that most people understand that they have to act in a particular way but they don’t because they think that their action would hardly make any difference. If only we make them understand that the action of one can inspire many and kindle many such actions, we are half done. The other half can be accomplished by making them identify with the issue, such as what happens in a movie. Talking to them about the perils of such careless behaviors and the corresponding effects on their lives and families can help a great deal. Otherwise, there are several things which should be done and are not done.


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