Are you living? or Existing?

     This weeks discussion talked about two different, yet compatible topics. The first topic is bringing awareness to sustainability and the second was bringing awareness to mindfulness.  Thinking about sustainability before the discussion, my thoughts went towards being able to have enough resources for the next day. I often thought that the definition of sustainability was to maintain a certain amount of a resource so you could live from day to day without running out. With this weeks discussion I learned  that having sustainability is much more complex. The meaning of having sustainability is having what you need for the present without messing up what you need in the future. When you think about sustainability you have to think about if what you’re doing to solve the problem at that moment is going to create larger problems in the future? Or is this a long-term solution that will keep the balance. Sustainability is the ability to exist consistently and when talking about sustainability we also talked about social paradigms. 

      The social paradigm that I discussed was a dominant paradigm. One of the aspects of a dominant social paradigm is the idea that humans are superior to any other species, therefore, we decide what the laws and rules are as far as using resources as well as anything else that is needed. By resources I mean water, electric, food as well as nature. The dominant social paradigm believes that we can control and manage nature. We also  believe that we are separated from nature. With this, the idea that technology is a way to control nature becomes a part of our lifestyle. When reading about this it made me realize that technology is becoming something that is being relied on more and more as the generations past. While I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of electronic devices that we have now to depend on. However, this dominant social paradigm believes that as long as we have the technology, we can be sustainable because we can control our resources and the way that they produce. The more I read the more I begin to think about the way that a dominant paradigm feels as far as controlling nature. A force like nature, yes can be controlled by certain technology but it’s going to affect the reproduction process. When I think about nature reproduction, I think about the four elements which are earth, air, fire, and water. These four elements are essential to living a life. With that being said, for example, using technology to control the water climate, will in turn affect the air which will in turn causes fires and unexplained natural disasters and this is what globalization is doing to destroy our earth and limiting our sustainability to live.

       While having sustainability is important, there’s also the need to being mindful. My New knowledge on being mindful is the ability to be aware of what is going on around you, recognize it, then release it.  A five minute exercise was given as homework throughout the week. With this exercise we were to sit for at least five minutes a day and meditate. We were to be mindful of the things that were going on around us and with acknowledging them, release them and notice how to deal with them as they come and go. It does sound silly at first to think that sitting in silence for five minutes could improve your day but after doing the homework and practicing, I was able to realize that it actually makes a difference in how you respond to your surroundings. Being mindful is about being in the present. While it was hard at first to actually let go of everything that I was thinking and everything that was going on around me, it was actually a sense of relief. I’ve also practiced meditation before, so I believe that this really helped improve my meditation skills.

      What I believe I contributed to the class this week was the awareness and need to understand what sustainability is. Sustainability is something that isn’t taught enough considering the wicked problems that are going on today.  We have to be mindful and realize that there are advantages to using nature and they’re also disadvantages to not using it properly. Our decisions that we make now is not only affecting the present but they are also affecting the future whether that is in a good way or bad way, that is up to us to decide. I believe that I can now contribute awareness of being mindful and focusing on the present as well as the awareness of making the right decision that is going to sustain from now to the future.

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