The Maasai tribe have roamed Tanzania for centuries. And, given the challenges of living amidst the world’s largest lion population, the rite of passage for Maasai boys to become “warriors” was to kill a lion.
Over time, this decimated the lion population in Tanzania. The Tanzanian government responded by banned this practice – to no avail.
Conservationists, on the other hand, tried a different approach. They enlisted help from the Maasai warriors to protect lions. The new symbol of courage for the warriors is saving lions while safeguarding their communities instead of killing them. And, this program has made more progress over the past years than other attempts over the past decades.
This anecdote speaks to the power of culture to drive meaningful change – in ourselves and others. When we transform the “this” in “people like us do things like this,” we transform ourselves, our worlds, and, in time, the world.
(H/T: This is Marketing by Seth Godin)