This past week of wicked problems was very moving for me and opened my eyes to many deeper problems and ideas occurring internally and around me. The two class sessions gave me a better outlook a better sense of peace as to what is going on in the world and within myself personally. One concept that was introduced to us this week was the act of meditation and mindfulness. This has allowed me to be more aware of my internal and physical wellbeing. Being mindful and aware means knowing exactly what is occurring within yourself and what is going on around you, even if we are not fond of what is happening. We must accept facts as they come and form opinions later. It is key to have an open mind, especially in today’s age. Like I previously said, the act of meditation has helped with this tremendously. It has allowed me to peacefully and calmly explore my thoughts and accept them as they come. It was also very interesting to me that mindfulness is something that can be trained and practiced. Honestly, I’ve always thought of this as a foreign concept, or not even thought of it at all. I figured that only certain people could participate in this act and that it would never be something to even slightly consider for myself. Dr. Armstrong truly opened my mind and I am very glad that she did. As she led us through these in class mediations, I felt very at peace and almost like I had never been so aware and accepting of who I am and what is happening within me. I now anticipate meditating before each class and I am excited to be more in the moment. There is an abundance of research that has been done on the act of meditation and mindfulness. It is said that mindfulness increases one’s awareness on the concept of sustainability and they are correlated. I believe this idea to be true and accurate, especially after experiencing it first-hand this past week.
Another concept that we deeply explored this week was paradigms. Truthfully, I had zero knowledge of what a paradigm was before the second required reading for this past week and our class discussion. A paradigm is something that can be viewed as mode or pattern that is made up of our values, beliefs, and assumptions. An analogy that Dr. Armstrong shared was the comparison of a paradigm to an iceberg. This is an excellent way to think about this concept, especially if you are not even the slightest bit aware of what a paradigm is. Our beliefs and values essentially represent the iceberg; they hold so much more under the surface than anyone can see or even imagine.
For the taking sides reading I was on the “no” side. My article basically stated that we as humans are falling into a natural pattern of destroying the Earth, either consciously or subconsciously, and there may be no going back. Patterns that are considered normal to humans nowadays include driving cars, using fossil fuels, excessive amounts of electricity, etc. The fact that we cannot go a day without usage of any of these device is incredibly terrifying and is a huge concern to many. The main purpose that I received out of this article was that shifting cultural systems is a long process and not a simple thing to do, but it must be done to live in a sustainable way on this Earth. It is crucial to enhance our human and nature relationship and become one with the earth. We do not only need effort but we need results. We must find value and meaning within nature and change and find solutions to provide a better future for the next generation.
With this being said, it is important to practice mindfulness and meditation in order to keep an open mind about these types of situations. Our awareness about sustainability must be increased which can be done through meditation and other exercises.