Mindfulness over matter

After having read the “Mindfulness and Sustainability” excerpt, I now have a better understanding of what it means to be mindful. To my knowledge, being mindful is about living with intention; truly thinking through one’s actions when it comes to things such as consumer habits. For example, being in the right mindset to know that I don’t need to go get a drink from Starbucks today and to think further ahead about the environmental consequences that could result from something so routine for so many people, such as their morning coffee are all part of being mindful. Mindfulness is a form of mental training, it’s something that needs to be practiced repeatedly in order to achieve positive results. As discussed in the reading, mindfulness has been proven to enhance numerous qualities among people, including empathy and compassion.

Does mindfulness have any connection to sustainability? That, I am still unsure of. I can see the possible connection between the two, but I almost wonder if mindfulness is something that will truly be a long-lasting thing for very many people. As Marc Cohen explained in his Ted talk, there are different kinds of medicine that focus on different things. He further pointed out that illness focuses on oneself and simply getting that person to average health whereas wellness focuses on we and attaining a level well above average health. I can’t help but see a correlation between this and earth’s steps to achieving sustainability.

A key factor contributing to both the rise of pollution and the overall lack of sustainable practices is selfishness. Most of the time we are concerned with how the outcome of our actions will affect, well, us. While it is sad, this has become unavoidably apparent, through unethical production processes, overconsumption, littering, and simply not caring. For the most part, this was me before taking Wicked Problems. I didn’t want to be aware of the disastrous issues we are all facing. I didn’t think about future generations and how it would affect their lives, I didn’t want to, not at the time. I am beginning my long, uphill journey to sustainability starting with small simple steps such as meditation and consuming less. I want to go on discovering what I can do to lower the amount of pollution in the fashion industry and finding a way to influence others to do the same. It all comes down to three words: reduce, reuse, recycle. By reducing waste and using raw materials efficiently, manufacturers can help the industry go green.

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