In the discussion, I brought up the fact that while many efforts have been made over the years to both improve the economy and the environment within the same measure, none such measure has been able to accomplish both goals. This is, I believe, because the problem is not impoverished persons practicing unsustainable methods in order to survive, but rather wealthy and middle classes in cities that contribute to most of the world’s energy consumption, emissions, and over-consumption of products from these impoverished persons. I also noted that many efforts to make these drastic changes may fail due to the unpopularity of the government with the masses. This immediate suspicion of government actions causes doubts in the goals of the government and whether they are actually attempting to assist the impoverished, though I feel this could be solved with the increase awareness of political agendas and the increased voting of the populace, so that the governments elected are those of persons whom the populace deem trustworthy. Doing this would simultaneously increase trust in the government, ensure policies are being put in place to assist the citizens of that government, and the environment would be protected and sustained.
My major takeaways from this past week’s classes are that one: the poor are not to blame for their environmental sustainability, it is rather the social systems in our modern world that force the impoverished to meet their basic needs by any means necessary that have caused their practices: two: that rural impoverished deal more with the issues of sustainability than urban impoverished as the urban poor deal more with governmental systems, agencies, and institutions, as well as sanitation and pollution compared to the rural poor’s issues with deforestation, over farming, poor water conservation, and crop failures; and three: that helping the poor to practice more sustainable methods of survival, while in theory extremely beneficial, has not worked in actuality, whether through subsidies, better governmental regulation, or new laws, all have come short of the mark in their effort to assist both the environment and the impoverished that are most affected by the drastic change of the earths’ climate.
When reflecting on the mindfulness assignment we had this week, I must admit that I’ve grown to tolerate – mayhaps even enjoy – meditation. Not. Now, I’ll maintain that it is nice to empty your mind occasionally, but doing it every day, especially for 10 whole minutes, is a loss of potential productivity and vital time. And, as someone who thrives off of productivity and balancing schedules, I find unnecessary meditation to make me more angry than just getting my work done and then going to sleep. I stand by my previous statement that daily meditation is nice if you are constantly stressed out, but it’s really just a hindrance in my daily schedule and I don’t enjoy hindrances. Furthermore, meditation is not only an impediment in my daily routine, but it requires me to adjust my already busy schedule to fit in time for the meditation.