You Can’t Care If You’re Not Aware

In every issue we discuss, when we attempt to brainstorm the tip of the iceberg solutions, we tend to come back to mindfulness. Overconsumption, sustainability and many more wicked problems, have a common theme of mindfulness. Meditating, for me, has truly helped me become more mindful. My father has always mediated, mainly after arguments with mom, although I never really understood why. Now, I get it. He takes that time to himself to reflect and better understand the situation and how he can go about solving the problem. That same mindset totally applies to meditating to be mindful of wicked problems. The “Mindfulness and Sustainability” reading reflected the importance of meditating and self-awareness. The reading touched on how we must take care of ourselves before we can take care of the world around us, which I think circles back to meditating to get in touch with how we are doing. Self-awareness was also a big topic in Marc Cohen’s TED Talk. He spoke about how the better your health, the better you’re able to deal with stressors (he called this resilience). I think this is a very important skill to learn, especially in college. For me, there are so many stressors and this can lead to poor mental and physical health. Hopefully meditating will teach me resilience. I think another aspect from Cohen’s speech that could help with resilience and mental health is that for every negative thought, you should have a positive one as well. Balance is so imperative for yourself and the planet.  I connected to the talk when he spoke about how fear equals entropy and love equals evolution. Our love for the planet and world around us should help inspire change and evolution to help make it a better place. Love should be our motivator always. I think it’s important to try and have your self-narrative break away from the paradigm. The paradigm tends to be typical, so be atypical because why not! Your self-narrative could include creating world peace, solving world hunger, or curing cancer. Don’t stick to the status quo. Responsibility mapping is an important way to understand your effect on the world around you. Figuring out your carbon footprint can help you become more aware and possibly make changes. You can’t care if you’re not aware. I had some issues when reading the “Yes” argument. I went into the reading feeling like I absolutely had to agree with it, although I don’t know why I thought that, and I really did not agree with it. As I tried taking notes, I struggled finding points that I agreed with and felt I could argue in class. The article started off by saying impoverished countries should just emulate wealthy countries to try and solve their poverty issue. The way it was stated, it just seemed so naïve. If it were only that simple, it wouldn’t be a wicked problem. Since this was within the first few paragraphs, it put a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the reading and I struggled agreeing with the points it made. One good thing to come out of it was that I began to consider exploring consumption/overconsumption as my wicked problem after reading this article. I went back and forth, landing on global warming and energy usage as well, before I decided that I was most interested in consumption. After reading the fashion and sustainability article, I was positive. I am so intrigued by overconsumption in our society, so I am excited to dive in and learn more about it. I am learning exactly how much this idea applies to my field of work. Overconsumption can be applied to so many different topics, but there is a strong connection between it and the fashion world. The Wildest Thing activity was all about thinking outside the box and being creative. I think those two points are key to solving wicked problems. Sure, some of the solutions we came up with couldn’t be taken straight off the paper and directly applied, but with some tweaking and consideration, there is no reason they couldn’t be the next solution. It was almost like a creative warm-up for brainstorming possible solutions for our investigative report.

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