Eyes Wide Open for the Wicked

To be completely honest, I had no idea on what to expect for this class, and I believe that was the case with a lot of others. With a name like “Wicked Problems”, the possibilities seemed endless on what this class could’ve been about. Well, let me say that I certainly did NOT expect to have such a rude awakening about the current state of the Earth at 8 in the morning. I was always aware of the effect that pollution, deforestation, and other things had on the world, but I didn’t really realize on how crazy- or should I say wicked these issues were. I guess I always had the thought of ‘we’ll figure it out’ or ‘It’ll be fine’. Now that that I know about what wicked problems are and how many there are out there, I’m not nearly as laid back in how I feel about Earth’s current health.

When my class first learned about what a wicked problem was, I have to say that I had this deep feeling of guilt and disappointment. Not only because it was the human race in general that was causing these problems, but because I wasn’t doing anything to help either. I mean I would recycle when I could and I never littered, but that just doesn’t quite cut it in my eyes. Watching The 11th Hour made the awful feeling in the pit of my stomach worsen. Not only did I get to hear about how bad it was, but I got to hear it from dozens of experts. At this point I was even feeling frustrated at how ignorant us humans seemed. I felt like we were staring at a problem and acknowledging that it existed, but there was no collective effort to try and stop it. I understand that people are trying to solve them, but I truly feel like the whole wide world needs to help with it too.

Now let’s get to Easter Island. Reading about that terrified the heck out of me. To me that was like Exhibit A on why we need to take care of our home. I mean I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t really want to eat my best friend because we ran out of chicken and sweet potatoes. I understand that the collapse of Easter Island isn’t the same as the collapse of the entire world, but that doesn’t negate the fact that wicked problems caused a seemingly smart community to go down like that. Is it really too off kilter to have the thought that this could happen to the entire world?

Thinking about all that I know now, I only have one question: what do we do now? We are staring at these problems right in their wicked face, but we have no solution. Truth be told, I don’t even know where to start with these issues. One thing I do know is that we have to educate people and show them what’s happening here. The more people we have trying to solve these problems, the better chance we have of actually solving them. They don’t call them ‘wicked’ just to make them sound cooler, they’re called wicked because they are serious issues, with very serious consequences. Evil is out there, and we are fueling it.

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