Mandalas, Mindfulness, and Much to Think About

This week, as a class we embarked further on our journey of mindfulness and sustainability. I very much so enjoyed this week because we were asked to up our time practicing mindfulness to ten minutes instead of five. This was absolutely perfect for this week because the due dates, assignments, and even extracurricular activities I had going on were through the roof. I can say it had been the most jam-packed week of my life! However, by practicing mindfulness and taking time to step back and reflect, pray, and be still, I was able to bring my focus back to the center of things and power through. We colored mandalas this week which was also very exciting and stress-easing. What I find comforting is that on Tuesday when we practiced mindfulness, I was in the Human Sciences lab for sixteen hours finishing a project. The stillness and quiet of those moments really helped me declutter my thoughts and lower my anxiety. Mindfulness is definitely a practice that has shown to be beneficial in my day to day life and is something that I want to keep implementing in my schedule.

            Post-mindfulness practice, we discussed our articles that we read concerning poverty and sustainability. Much like last week, we were each assigned an article. One article argued that poverty does not impact sustainability, the environment, etc. And the other argued that yes, poverty and the poor do negatively impact sustainability, the economy, etc. I received the “no” article, which was honestly kind of hard for me to agree with and defend because I do personally think that the poor do have their impact on the environment. We also dug into the topic of the difference between the rural poor and the urban poor. Truthfully, I did not know that there was a different in their impacts! I did however find this information interesting and useful. In my discussions, I found myself conflicted when thinking about the impact that those in poverty have on us. Don’t big corporations make just as bad as an impact? They burn mass amounts of fuel and emit terrible gasses into our atmosphere. They use child labor and sweatshops. They abuse the poor into doing work for little pay. Isn’t THAT an issue as well? Why are we taking jabs at the poor? The other side of me would argue that they are not productive members of society if they are not working and contributing to the community. Homelessness and the litter they may have does in fact contribute negatively. I had a lot to ponder about and a lot of self-evaluation and what I call “bias-searching” to do after my discussions in the breakout rooms.

            On Tuesday we were also assigned a new infographic project. I enjoyed diving into the wicked problems of the interior design world so I am very much intrigued to research them more! We also will be presenting them to a person in the actual design world, so I am looking forward to seeing what that has in store!

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