Where to Point the Finger

            Why is it that the people living in poverty are being blamed for the decline of economic conditions when it has never been in their control? After I was finished reading the, “YES” reading, I started to reflect on the points discussed in the article. One of the strongest takeaways from the writing is that when regarding environmental degradation, poverty can be considered both a cause and a result. Those who are causing harm to the environment as a result of living in poverty do so majorly because they have no other viable options. It should seem irrational to blame the victims for the things that they cannot afford to change. People do what they have to in order to survive. Maybe we should start pointing fingers at the people who are in charge of providing the resources that are needed for them to live a sustainable lifestyle. Those who live in famine do so not from personal choice, they are put into the situations they are in by the hands of large governmental and societal institutions. The system is set up in a way that makes it remarkably difficult for the poor to improve their quality of life. Other than not being able to be environmentally friendly, they also are rarely able to afford to eat healthy, get quality housing, or even get a good education in some cases. This is just one more scenario where the main causes of the problem refuse to take responsibility for their actions due to their lust for money and power.

            While reading through the Wicked Problems website, I was stunned to learn that I did not grasp the concept of what goes into these issues as much as I had previously thought. I have learned that not all wicked problems are just hard to solve, some are unsolvable completely. For example: death, inequality, and disease are just a few of the many. They have no definite solution, those working towards a fix can only mitigate the effects. For the wicked problems that are able to be solved, they are only very hard to alleviate due to how many factors play a role. With the issue of ocean pollution, one could place a complete ban on the dumping of waste into water but some would still manage to do it against the law. The span of the issue is so vast, there will never be a way to stop the problem completely. With this being said, it should not imply that working towards a solution is trivial. Reducing the size of the wicked problem and its effects is better than doing nothing at all. If many of these problems continue to grow, it not could, but will, lead to our society’s extinction so any effort to repair what we have destroyed would make a difference.

            Some people as well as brands are doing a good job at consistently giving back to the planet. The brands that are built around sustainability are called “social entrepreneurship businesses”. The most interesting one to me is the brand Tom’s. Their most well-known product is the Tom’s shoes. With each purchase, a pair of them is donated to someone in need. They also have an eyewear brand that supports restoring eyesight to those who can’t afford it, a coffee brand that donates clean water, and a bag collection that contributes to providing mothers with safe birth services. They are actively trying to fight the wicked problems of the world and do so  by providing people an easy and desirable way to make a change. I would love to be able to create a company that gives back even a portion of what they have. I would focus my attention towards cleaning the ocean. I would create my products as eco-friendly as I could and with every purchase, remove a few pounds of trash from the water. The work towards a healthier planet would drastically speed up if all of the companies across the world attempted to adopt the same policies and mindsets as those who run social entrepreneurship businesses. For the sake of our future I hope that they all eventually work towards doing better for the Earth.

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