wicked problems & paradigms… oh and mindfulness too!

Starting off this week, I had close to no idea what a paradigm was. I was assigned to the “yes” article and I found myself wondering what the “no” side possibly had to say since the information I was reading was newer to me. The article I read was about how globalization benefitted the environment. When reading I was on the “yes” side because the science made sense to me. The article explained that with enough economic growth the waste from a country would eventually get back under control and even be cleaner and better for the environment than before. When I was put into the breakout rooms to discus with my group, the “no” side made much more sense to me, especially considering that I thought the inverted “u” graph was a bit out of the way to solve this problem. While I did not read the “no” article I found myself siding with them because I realize that we do need to make changes to have a sustainable future. One thing I wish I had done this week was to explain my side a little better because while I agreed more with the no side, I wish I could have better explained my side, but I get a little tongue-tied sometimes. The way that we are living right now is not sustainable as we are essentially trashing the earth. In theory the whole “inverted U” sounds great, but in reality, it is difficult to reach the end of that and sit in a sustainable position while experiencing top economic growth. That’s when the topic of “is globalization compatible with sustainability”, really comes to the surface. Throughout this class I have learned that there are a lot of wicked problems, most of which I never heard or thought about. I think that if wicked problems were more widely known, better long-term solutions would arise, and it would be easier to prevent them.

Another assignment was to practice mindfulness this week and I found it to be very enlightening. In high school my psychology teacher had us practice mindfulness in class, and we would set aside the first ten minutes of class to do so. After I finished that class however, I became busier and unfortunately did not keep up with my meditation and mindfulness practice. Since I finished high school and experienced quarantine and all the unsureness of our new world, I have really been struggling with my anxiety, so I was glad to hear mindfulness brought up again with this class because I did find it helpful in high school. When I wake up before I get ready for the day, I set aside 5 minutes to sit and practice mindfulness.  I find that mediating and focusing on my breathing or even picturing waves crashing on a beach that I am more relaxed and generally have less anxiety throughout the day. I know that this pandemic has been tough for everyone and I think lots of people have been struggling a little more with anxiety and mental health, and for me mindfulness and meditation has grounded me and helped me relax again.

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