Every Action has a Reaction: Examining the Krispy Kreme COVID-19 Vaccine Backlash

mtsaride – Markus Mainka – stock.adobe.com

Even though Sir Isaac Newton shared his three laws of motion as early as 1686, many of us are yet to adopt them in our daily behavior.

Not sure how many of you are aware of the backlash that Krispy Kreme received for offering a free glazed donut a day for a year to anyone who receives the COVID-19 vaccine. To participate, those who got the shot simply have to show their vaccination card at participating Krispy Kreme locations to pick up their free daily donut.

While I respect everyone’s opinions, I just wanted to illustrate some issues so we can better judge this move by Krispy Kreme. Your Judgment Quotient or JQ is a measure of the alignment between your actions and your goals without any moral judgment.

Intentions vs. outcomes

As you know, there is an ongoing debate regarding intentions vs. outcomes. Both intent and results matter. The key is to examine the context to appreciate the nuances.

In this case for example, our collective goal is to motivate the hesitant folks to get the COVID-19 vaccine so we can stop the spread and potential mutations of the virus.

Do we inspire them or bribe them, or scare them? I believe that humans default to an “OR” more often than an “AND” operator when it comes to choices.

Parents use these tactics all the time to get their kids to follow the rules of the house.  Here’s my hypothesis for you.  Some parenting coach came up with this idea, “You really don’t want any conflict in the mornings, do you? So, why don’t you ask your kids if they would like corn flakes or Cheerios and make them feel as though they were the ones who chose what they wanted to eat and in control.”

While this could work in the near term, it conditions them to default to the “OR” operator.  To further my point, as they get older it changes to “Chocolate OR Vanilla?” We need to engage as many tactics as necessary to accomplish our goal as long as the side-effects are carefully considered and deliberated.

Eating donuts vs. curbing the spread of COVID-19

Deploy all the methods that can work — different strokes for different folks. Treats have long been used as a primary tool for behavior modification.

Here comes the tradeoff — what’s the consequence of eating one donut per visit vs. avoiding the vaccine altogether?

If Krispy Kreme came up with this tactic as a publicity stunt — but if it promoted many hesitant folks to get their vaccine — is that a bad thing?

That does, however, raise a different question about the state of our humankind in my mind: “Can a measly donut overcome the block of taking the COVID-19 vaccine?” If so, it looks like we have bigger problems.

Yielding to temptation and engaging in impulsive acts in-the-moment is a common occurrence for us human beings. To improve our Judgment Quotient or JQ, we need to pause, even for a brief moment, to consider the consequences of our impulsivity. Cultivating the ability to pause between the stimulus and our reaction is a skill that can be developed with disciplined practice.

We might choose to get one donut and never go to Krispy Kreme again. We have the power of choice! I distinctly recall offering our son Krispy Kreme donuts as a reward for going to the dentist when he was five. While some of you may be wondering, “Duh, he wouldn’t have had to go to the dentist if you didn’t offer him the Krispy Kreme donuts as a treat.”  His cavities, however, were the result of drinking apple juice before going to bed and not the Krispy Kreme donuts.

It’s about time that we recognise the power each of us wield in terms of our ability to steer our future and exercise our choices with deliberate intent.

Love to hear your comments.

This article first appeared on the LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/every-action-has-reaction-examining-krispy-kreme-vaccine-pendyala

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