Reconciling Sustainability Ideas

What is a paradigm? A paradigm is a lens that we look through which can be viewed as a collective mental mode made up of our values, beliefs, and assumptions. An analogy that was discussed in an earlier class was an iceberg. To the viewer’s eye it is a small iceberg above water but below the water the iceberg is massive. Along with the size contains patterns, structures, and paradigms. This is a perfect analogy because our thoughts essentially represent the iceberg, they contain so much more than what the eye can see especially underneath the surface. Thoughts are powerful! When you put your mind to it you realize how in-depth your thinking really is. One thought that surfaces when thinking of reconciling sustainability ideas is human ingenuity. I have learned through out Wicked Problems 1101 that I am a big believer that people will figure it out. People are doing the best they can with what they know. The only thing you can do is focus on bettering yourself and the world that surrounds you.  

Like I said, why worry about those around you? You can’t change their mind or others opinions. But what can be changed is me. I now know that energy needs to come from the sun, water needs to be clean, garments need to be reincarnated, buildings need to be made photosynthetic, more green buildings need to be added, the economy should be powered by solar energy, and income tax needs to be lowered. But, as a 19-year-old how can I make these huge changes when I am barely scraping by as a poor college student? I have realized from my time in wicked problems that there are many alternative solutions that don’t cost money. The most important is to love yourself and where you live. Embarrassingly I can think of several accounts where I have seen trash in my car console and made the decision to just throw it out of the window, not thinking of the environment. It is pure laziness. I have now promised myself no more littering because I truly do love where I live. Yet, my actions don’t match up with my words.  

Another idea that was captivating to me was in the movie The 11th Hour one of the lines that stood out to me is that “You can vote no matter what age you are” This stood out to me because it made me think hard at first! You have to be 18 to vote my mind instantly thought! When in reality voting doesn’t have to be about polls, ticket offices, and getting a small sticker that says “I voted.” It is much more than that. I have learned that what you buy can determine how you vote. Just think about it. What all did you buy today? Did you over use resources, buy hurtful things to the environment, or things that could be harmful to your own body? I am guilty as charged when it comes to this. I am careless with my money and I ought to be more careful. The movie has persuaded me to be more careful with my spending and what I vote my dollars toward. Just think of how much better the world would be if we were aware of our actions. Everything has a consequence and if we keep this up we won’t have anything left. It stops know with me. I vow that I cut my spending and focus on what is important to the environment. I vow to vote mind fully and sustainably. 

In this class I have learned more than in any other class that I have taken. I have learned about paradigms, speaking up in class, meditation, mindfulness, and sustainability. It is important to me to focus on reconciling sustainability ideas. I plan to love myself better, love where I live harder, and vote wiser. I feel as if I am properly equipped to not only change myself but help those around me. I live in a sorority house filled with 95 other girls whom I am sure they are as clueless as I once was about the wicked problems that the world deals with every day. I am thrilled to make a change in the world. It starts now!

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