Strength in Numbers (Mindfulness)


This week we got the chance to watch Marc Cohen’s TED Talk. During his talk he talked about how in medicine, we pay too much attention on what puts us down rather than what lifts us up. This really resinates with me because I feel like if we look at life in a more positive outlook, we will receive positive outcomes. Something else that really meant a lot to me that goes along with that is when he talked about how wellness is about we and illness is about I. He also discussed that balance is determined by the world (what goes in and what come out), that our biggest killer to our planet us our lifestyle, and that ‘paranoia’ and ‘pronia’ are delusional, the world isn’t out to get you or help you.

The problem I would like to pursue is the issue of fabric waste in the apparel industry. More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year, and that number is continuing to rise. Out of that 15 million, about 11 million tons are sent to landfills. The average American throws away about 80 pounds of used clothes.  This is a wicked problem not only because of the waste, but because of the money it is costing us nationally and the years clothes take to decompose. Further more, an average, nationally, it costs cities $45 per ton to dispose of old clothing. This issue really means a lot to me because I am an apparel merchandising major and plan on working in this field. I really want to be able to make a difference in what ever I do, so I feel like learning more about this issue can help me do that.

This week we also got to read Mindfulness and Sustainability. The book said that mindfulness can be seen in two different ways. 1. a mental training technique and 2. a way of being in our lives everyday. I do not think that these two definitions or ideas should be separate. I feel like in order to truly be mindful person you need to take time out of your day to truly practice being mindful and also incorporate in your life. I also agreed with what was said in the book when they stated that mindfulness meditation is so beneficial in terms of happiness and well-being because it can lead to less unhappiness by increasing an individuals ability to be engaged in the present moment. This is particularly important in our society today because we are so attached to our phones and social media, even I find myself not living in the moment and being addicted to my phone, or making sure I document everything rather than take it in. I found it interesting that when people tend to experience the world through cognitive filters of habitual, self-centered, and prior conditioned nature, it can lead to superficial, incomplete, and biased pictures of reality.

After this week and learning more about mindfulness, all I hope is that as a society, we can become even a little but more mindful about our environment. I think that there is strength in numbers and if everyone just made a little effort to be a little bit more mindful in their daily lives, it can make a HUGE difference in our society now and in the future.

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