Strategies

Mediating long-term and short-term views

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One common difference is in perspective between those with long‐term views/goals and those with short‐term views/goals. If this is the case, the path most likely to achieve success is to get the people with the long‐term view to accept the validity of the short‐term view as well.

It’s usually easier for people with a short‐term view to accept a long‐term perspective, because they just view the long‐term remedies as “add‐ons” to their views. Presumably, these add‐ons won’t disturb the short‐term view as long as the short‐term needs are being addressed.

However, people with long‐term views have a more difficult time accepting the validity of short‐term remedies, which they perceive as substitutes rather than additional elements of a package. Short‐term remedies often involve financial payments to individuals or groups of individuals, and are seen as selfish, and for personal benefit. Long‐term remedies, by contrast, tend to be strategic and/or environmental. The implementation takes much longer, and the impacts take longer to be seen. In this case, the benefits accrue to the entire community and not to specific individuals.

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