Last week, after reading a particular news story, I felt incensed… Apparently, according to the Royal Society for Public Health, as a nation we’re being ‘hoodwinked’ by businesses into purchasing unhealthy and bigger food and drink portions, through ‘up-selling’. For example, whilst buying a takeaway hot chocolate you may be asked: “Would you like a large? Would you like cream with that? And marshmallows?’ At this juncture, you would think that through free will, if a standard cup of hot chocolate was still all that we wanted without the ‘upgrade’, then we are all perfectly capable to say ‘No thank you’. Oh, but nooo, apparently, this isn’t within our ability and businesses ‘have a certain responsibility’ not to try to pressure people to purchase more.
Surely, they’re not pressuring people though, they’re simply asking a question, expanding our range of options. Do businesses not have a right to try to make more money for development, for its shareholders, to increase their staff wages or indeed just want to make a profit. How rude!
It can hardly be called an unscrupulous practice because they only have an influence if we allow it.
The phrases ‘free choice’ and ‘personal accountability’ spring to mind… I really do despair at the lack of recognition that we as human beings possess this and that we can simply say ‘no’. If we say yes to the extra burger for a £1, it’s because it sits most comfortably with our values and thus our emotions. Afterwards, you may feel a little too full and regret that decision – that’s the amazing gift we have called introspection or self-awareness – the benchmark from which we learn. That bloated feeling is our doing and not that of the member of staff in the fast-food outlet – they didn’t ram the extra burger for a £1 down your throat…
We live in a ‘where there’s blame, there’s a claim’ culture and our greed perpetuates this. Personal accountability seems a notion which doesn’t seem to even register on many people’s psyche; that’s why we face so many of the problems which exist in society today. Not many will admit when they’re wrong – they either shift the blame, hide their misdemeanours or brazenly ‘style it out’.
If you feel overweight and/or unhealthy, unless you have a predisposed medical condition which causes this, the rest is up to you. You can’t blame the serving staff who ask: “Would you like extra fries or a side of fried onions with that?”’, or apportion culpability to the retailer because they offer a second large cookie for half-price or two bags of donuts for the price of one… Why are ‘health experts’ such as the Royal Society for Public Health blaming businesses, treating us all like dumb animals as if we don’t have the ability to say ‘no thank you’? I would have thought launching a public health campaign raising awareness of the benefits of healthy eating is a much more responsible solution.
Instead, they fuel the blame ethos with people adding their ‘story’ to the mix, about how they were ‘tricked’ into upselling and gained 5 stone. I have no tolerance for this attitude I think evidenced by the tone of this blog. To this end:
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – If you are asked a question or are in a situation where there is a choice to make, think about your response. There are consequences to choices – consider what they are, for you will always choose what sits most emotionally comfortable with your values and thus your emotions. If you don’t like the choices you continuously make, re-think your values. Stop blaming others. Live life consciously. Here endeth the rant.
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” Theodore Roosevelt
By Kirsty Perrin
About the Author: Having been immersed in the Winning Edge principles from an early age, Kirsty’s philosophy is to be the best you can be and to enjoy what you do in life.
Kirsty knows that personal development is a continuous journey and therefore has a genuine desire and enthusiasm to help people realise their full potential, to be a success in their life-whatever that may mean to them.
Kirsty’s thought-provoking blogs, prompt readers to think consciously about how their thinking has a huge impact on their life, it informs their emotions and therefore their behaviour. Living life consciously is the cornerstone to the themes of Kirsty’s blogs. You can contact Kirsty directly here