Changing To The Real Reality Channel


Life goes on day by day with the realities of the world being shrouded with a heavy fog for many who choose to remain so.  Sustainable/simple living remains outside the fog in the minds of many people still stuck in their current reality.

But how do we help to change people’s world view and assist them in removing the veil over their eyes?

Well let me try and explain how I do this on a regular basis with an analogy.

Imagine that there are only two TV channels available in your area.

You are watching the “real reality” channel, while those around you are watching the “seriously head-stuck-in-the-sand” channel.   You really feel tempted to simply ask them to get off the couch and change channels.

However you need to do this in such a way as not to criticize that person’s current beliefs or perspectives, because you know it would be counterproductive.

What you will need to do is talk to them at their level, knowing that they are watching that “seriously sandy” channel.  Don’t belittle.  It turns peoples minds off straight away.

Instead, be enthusiastic when you talk about the things that you do, or the behaviours you have ingrained in your life.

If the conversation on the “seriously head-stuck-in-the-sand” channel is regularly about football or shopping for shoes, then begin to start your own conversations about food gardening, generating your own electricity, your lack of utility bills, or even your favourite fruit tree or chicken.

You will soon find that a few interested people with begin to watch the “real reality” channel occasionally  and start to enjoy this new channel.  The more interesting conversations that occur, the more people begin to watch, little by little.

As the presenter of your local “real reality” channel, be mindful that your viewers are beginners.  Start with basic content, and build it up.  Don’t go headlong into climate chaos and peak oil just yet.   If your channel starts running this stuff too early, you will lose half your viewers in a heartbeat.

So slowly does it.  With any pop-culture TV show, it must remain interesting and relevant.  Within a few months your “real reality” channel will become a talking point, and most people will know where it is on the dial.  If someone asks a question about backyard chickens to another, they point them to the “real reality” channel by word of mouth.

This is when you know that your channel is being watched regularly with enthusiasm.  As with everything in life you will quickly find avant “reality” channel watchers come out of the woodwork!

Hopefully, this analogy and post has struck a chord with many of you who already watch the reality channel.

Let me know if you have had similar experiences helping people to change channels.


  1. says

    Great post! Its a very good point you make. No one likes to be told how they ‘should’ live their life. But I find people are always interested when I tell them about growing my own, mostly because I always talk about how much I love it and how good the food tastes. I’ve passed on quite a few seeds and people I know have started growing a few tomatoes or lettuces. Hopefully the bug will bite. That’s how I got started…

  2. says

    Thanks for the post Gavin. An approach worth trying. It is like living in two worlds, the one which knows things are going to hell if there isn’t change and the ‘normal’ one where no one pays the slightest attention to anything that might sound like restraint, save, stewardship. My son and I have a garden that incorporates permaculture principles and fruit and vegetables amongst flowers. We use the introduction to that and its produce to try to encourage others.

  3. says

    Great analogy! I too am guilty of being a little too enthusiastic sometimes. I am a RABID little Hippy after all, but I am very conscious that I don’t want to alienate people either. Thing is, I’m just a beginner myself! We have made the small changes for some time now but the big ones (like solar and veggie gardens) are all in the pipeline at the moment.

    I actually had a lovely email from a friend and reader of my blog the other day. She has installed her solar system, is preparing her garden beds for Autumn planting (she’s in Townsville and it’s too hot to plant now), has found her local organic suppliers for beauty products as well as groceries and is making many changes to live a more sustainable life. I read the email at 5:30 one moring when I couldn’t sleep. With hubby and bubby asleep beside me I had to do a very small “YESSSSS!” without waking them. I am so stoked that someone else has changed channels as you put it.

  4. says

    Another great post, Gavin. I agree, it’s best to edge in quietly with many people unless you find someone keen to learn more about the real reality! Sharing produce like Liz mentioned is also a fantastic idea as that often leads to conversations started by the receiver such as home grown produce being so fresh/nutritious/healthy etc.

  5. says

    I am cheered to think this would work somewhere in the world. In the USA (where I am from, but do not currently live), unfortunately, the head-in-sand viewers are told repeatedly, on the head-in-sand channel, the head-in-sand newspapers, not to mention their websites, that what the real reality channel is saying is a pack of lies. What do you say to people who tell you that climate change is all a hoax?

    • says

      I don’t speak about climate change at all. I refer to the limited resources on the earth and that we cannot sustain this rampant consumeristic lifestyle forever or think that the removal of so many trees and forests or contamination of our food, water, air, our bodies, is a good thing. Talking about all the health problems in the world, many of which are preventable, is often a good conversation starter . Something in there will hopefully light a spark in the person I’m talking with and lead them to think more about it later.

  6. says

    Yep that is one excellent post and it will strike a chord with many like minded readers. I am brain washing people with my home made Christmas presents…. a bit of home made soap…a few home grown veges…fresh eggs …a loaf of freshly made bread – then whammo before they know it they are asking how to grow carrots. Plant a seed ….and watch it grow , that’s my motto…they grow much better than sticking a whole plant in the ground.

  7. says

    Great analogy Gavin. I have to admit I am guilty of getting a bit too enthusiastic about a particular topic and potentially scaring people away. Like Liz said sharing the abundance is a great conversation starter.

  8. says

    I like it! Although I occasionally like to shock people with stories about butchering chickens when I get frustrated that they are so clueless about where there food comes from (and how it often suffers so they can get it cheap)! Something that does work is selling my excess eggs at work, that starts many chicken conversations. And when the excess runs out over winter, I suggest that people get their own chickens….

  9. says

    Clever analogy indeed, Gavin. I really should take on board what you said about approach, because you’re right. I am very passionate about a good many causes. I tend to get a little too passionate at times and turn people off. It doesn’t do me, or the causes, any good.

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