The Man in the Mirror

I believe that everyone should take a wicked problems course. This class has been much more than information for future fashion designers and interior designers. Everyone should take this course because it focuses and brings attention to the current problems in our environment. I would have never known about the true state that our environment is in without taking this class. Throughout the 8 weeks we not only discussed the environment we also discussed the importance of awareness. Many people fail to realize that by not acknowledging the problems, they are actually making it worse. We cannot simply continue our daily routines without any change being made. For years, our environment has been screaming for help, and we have continued to ignore the red flags. Now our environment is on its last leg begging for help. Most people are content with their lifestyles simply because they do not know the consequences. Humans are often afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone, which in fact is hurting everyone including our environment. Many people believe that in order to better the environment big changes would have to be made however, any little change will help dig us out of the humongous hole previous generations have left us in.

            In class we discussed the filmmaker’s statement about how we are the generation of change. Many classmates spoke out about how this made them feel. There were many mixed emotions flowing through the zoom meeting. This statement made people feel anxious, pressured, upset, and some what honored. Personally, it made me feel anxious and upset because I do not believe that we should be responsible for cleaning up other people’s mistakes. Our generation has already received so much negative backlash from everybody, so it amazes me that they feel like we are obligated to fix the world. Someone shared in our discussion that most people consider our generation of kids as lazy, unmotivated, spoiled, spoon fed kids. My question is if we are so lazy and unmotivated then why do they expect us to save the world. Although it does not make sense and not fair, we can not afford to just sit. Our older generation has let us down and it is now up to us to save our environment. The film makers stated that the environment will eventually rejuvenate and regrow to become back green and plentiful. The environment will reboot itself; however, it might be at the cost of human existence. Not only are we affecting the environment daily, industry and our production is what is currently having the most impact.

            The “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson wrote a song title “Man in the Mirror” and addressed many of the problems going on in the world. In the song he says, “If you want to make the world a better place, better look at yourself and make a change.” This song is still relevant today and if we would have listened to his message, we would not be in the state we are in. Several of his songs alluded towards the problems going on in the world. Change is not going to happen overnight; it is not going to be easy and definitely cannot be done by one person. It is going to take a whole village and lots of time. The first step is to get everyone on board, which groups like environmentalists have been working for years trying to create awareness. This is why I believe that everyone should take Wicked Problems or a Sustainability course so that more people can be exposed to the problems. These courses explain more than one would get simply by searching up on google. During these short 8 weeks I have learned more about the environment and our impact than I have learned in 13 years of schooling. Me and my friends always joke about how we never learn anything that is actually useful in the real world, however this course was different. Throughout our study we learned about the problems, people involved, the impact, and possible solutions. These problems are tricky which is why they are called wicked problems. I learned that a wicked problem is a complex nonlinear problem that withstands traditional means of solving. Wicked problems are problems going on that do not have one solution for example, politics, economy, global warming, pollution, poverty, and other global problems. We explored many of these problems and how they related to sustainability of our environment. Wicked problems are rooted in difference and driven by paradigms. Our choices are shaped by our paradigms even though most our unaware, this is why mindfulness is important.

            I can make a positive impact on my circle of influence by introducing them to the different ways to practice mindfulness. They have noticed that I have started meditating and how it has helped me and are interested. This course has not only made me aware of the environmental problems, it has also made me more in tune with myself. I have started to notice and have begun to pay attention to how I am using resources. The main thing that I have cut back on is driving. Carpooling is honestly the best thing way to go being in college with roommates. Driving affects the environment in many ways. It contributes to the pollution high rate, which lowers the quality of our air. Driving also negatively affects the environment because companies compete against each other by mass producing cars. The fast production of cars has the potential to be harmful to our environment because consumers would not be attracted to the car that is most environmentally friendly. In our world today us consumer tends to buy things that are more aesthetically pleasing than what is safer for the environment.

             One solution that was discussed for a more sustainable environment is for the government to create decentralized incentives so that people will do the right thing. When this was brought up in conversation, I did not see how this would work however, when someone in the class explained how we are driven by rewards it all made more sense. I did not realize the control the market and government have on us consumers. This is because I was not aware much like other consumers are today. These short 8 weeks have been truly an eye open experience and I wish that everyone got the opportunity to learn so that we can all work together to better the environment. This is not going to be an over the night miracle story, it will most definitely take time, but if we all come together, we can change the world, but first we need to start with the man in the mirror!

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