Paradigms in Today’s Society

Although we have only attended two weeks of this course, I feel as though it has taught me so much. I enjoy the mindful meditations as I have meditated in the past. Meditating makes me feel self-aware and in-tune with my surroundings. Recently though, this has been hard for me because of stress. With finals coming up along with other life events, it has been a struggle to be mindful and live every day to the fullest. I feel as though I was meant to take this class right now because it is very easy to get caught up and self-absorbed in our society.

I did not know that a paradigm was one’s perspective of the world before we learned it in class. I enjoy learning about psychology and thought it was interesting that everyone has a personal paradigm and a “group” paradigm. Living in America, especially in our society, we were raised in the consumer culture. This is the continuous cycle of buying products. After reflecting on this topic upon learning about it in class, I realized that I have fallen victim to the consumer culture. Americans’ paradigm is to use, dispose, and repeat. I notice how much paper my professors hand out in class, and how many students will not recycle them. I think about how much water I use when I shower. I notice how many people use plastic bags at the grocery store. Thinking about how one person could make so much of an impact on the system is really inspiring to think about the impact everyone could have if they were mindful. Change starts with one, and although it will be impossible to force everyone to be mindful and be aware of their paradigm, it doesn’t hurt to try.

I think it was wise of Dr. Armstrong to separate the class into “yes” and “no” groups. This way, we will all learn to respect opposing views and learn something new from it. There are always two sides to an argument, and no clear definition of who is right and who is wrong. In the article Taking Sides of Western Values, it discusses both views on sustainability. By keeping the idea of being mindful at our attention, we all can learn to better understand and reflect on everyone’s paradigms.

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