Mindfulness

Mindfulness… when I think about mindfulness, my thoughts often lean towards being observant and aware of your actions. Knowing, or at least trying to know, the effects your actions will have on others, on the environment, and on yourself. Being a Christian, mindfulness plays a large role in my everyday life. A term I often refer to is the “eternal perspective” which means paying attention to your actions as they play out over time, not just how they play out in the moment. While that term relates directly to the Christian faith and mindset, it is applicable no matter the situation. Holding an eternal perspective regarding waste would entail recycling, reusing, and reducing products, for the sake of the long-term goals of a cleaner earth and a sustainable environment.

Marc Cohen spoke about mindfulness as it relates to well-being. “It is hard for me to be happy if I am not well, if my environment is not well, if the people around me are not well.” Cohen holds the idea that being well in yourself brings wellness to those around you and to your environment, causing a massive chain reaction of wellness. This doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t believe in human expansion or production. In fact, he says “destruction is an act of living” because humans need supplies to live and must use nature to their advantage. Cohen believes that the earth is not in a state of resource depletion, but rather in a state of abundance. We just use too much.

This is actually one of the things I will talk about in my investigative report; I am interested in the overconsumption of goods by the American people. I specifically want to research into the American home and how much is spent to create mansions that are bigger and better than the ones we grew up in and why we feel the need to do so.

For the YES-NO activity, my group was part of the YES argument. The idea behind the YES side was that more money doesn’t necessarily mean more problems. In fact, it stated that up to a certain point, more money allows for the means of production but not the means of sustainability and environmental efforts to clean and monitor that production. But at a certain point, the more money means more sustainable efforts and monitoring of the production environment. While this is true in nearly every case (communistic societies are excluded) the NO side of the argument states that having the means to take care of the issue at hand doesn’t necessarily mean the society will take care of it. Keeping in mind the idea that wind power is healthier for the earth in the latter half of its use, the set up, maintenance and investment into  each turbine largely outweighs the savings earned throughout its life.

An activity I loved doing in our Problem Solving course was developing fun ideas that fit a specific problem. In the Wicked Problems class, we took part in a similar activity where we looked at things we wished would change, “wild” ways to solve those problems, and how to apply that solution. Many of the things we wished could be fixed were wicked problems. Some were specific situations that fall under the umbrella of wicked. But our last section of the activity was to explain how the solution works. And our solution was to train animals like goats or pigs to eat the plastic or paper or Styrofoam cups people are done with. While this was an odd option, it made sense in the context of the issue: too much waste, specifically waste that is not easily recycled, or recyclable at all.

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