I enrolled in the course Wicked Problems for 1 credit hour just to scratch it off my list of classes to get done. I thought it would talk about all the basic issues in the world that everyone knows about and it would be an easy blow off class. Throughout this course, I have learned to approach things such as wicked problems with compassion. I have been driven by my curiosity to learn more which has caused me to open up to things and thoughts I never would have. Practicing mindfulness has played a big role in advancing the way I think. Little did I know the impact it would begin to have on me intellectually, emotionally, and somatically.
To be honest, I could not get in to it at first. Practicing mindfulness in class, I would sit there and try my best to focus but I just felt easily distracted by everything and bored. We were told to practice it outside of class which was very difficult for me at the beginning. I have a now four month old, husband, wreck less puppy, and busy life outside of them, so making the time seemed inconvenient. When each class period we continued practicing, I became more intrigued and made time to attempt on my own. I began to understand the importance of mindfulness and meditation which motivated me to continue researching and practicing on my own. I found the best time for me is at night and so I started making the effort every night to sit, reflect, and repeat daily affirmations. I have found that it has affected me for the best. The stress of juggling all of my responsibilities has been hard, and I feel like this one consistent move every day has made it seem a lot easier than I had made it out to be.
Learning wicked problems has been eye opening for me. I have become more understanding and try to look at things from an intellectual point of view. For example, I never truly understood about the amount of waste on earth. I had knowledge of all of the waste but did not personally care to do anything about it. I did not understand what it could honestly lead to. And I know the problems it could potential propose, but I did not care to go out of my way to help. After doing research and approaching this topic with compassion, I feel completely different. I want to help reduce waste as much as I can and even encourage others to do the same. This class has definitely changed the way my mind works and the way I view these wicked problems.
I have been emotionally impacted by this class and the wicked problems we learn about constantly. My heart has become bigger with more understanding and compassion when it comes to looking at these types of things. I feel like I have become more open, willing, and vulnerable. I always have been respectful to others’ beliefs even if I have disagreed with them, but I feel like I have been closed off to truly understanding why they would believe what they do over what I do. Being mindful and emotionally connected has changed that. I now can acknowledge the importance of other people’s beliefs when it comes to a wicked problem even if they differ from mine. This has humbled me and allowed me to be more compassionate towards others.
I have not only seen changes in my mind and heart, but as well in my body. Since getting pregnant and having a baby (especially being so young), I have struggled with anxiety and postpartum depression. And I am not against medicine whatsoever, I just do not personally want to have to depend on it to feel better when I believe there are other things that I can do to help. After practicing mindfulness and meditation, I truly feel like it has helped me tremendously in these areas which in turn has helped me sleep better at night. I wake up with ease instead of worry to see my little girl alive in her bassinet and an excitement instead of stress about my days. This took a few weeks of practicing to get to this point, but I am very thankful I could.
When thinking about wicked problems, I think everyone wants to find one answer to the problem and leave it at that. The issue with that is that there is no one solution. And what makes it even worse is because there are no direct results in front of us yet, just minor things and causes that will lead to the worst, people do not care. When there are not enough people to care and change things, nothing changes. For example, people my age willingly slowly take time off their lives vaping because the affects could not show up for years on years. They are not worried about what the future could potentially hold because it is not thrown in their face. Their lungs do not hurt now but they will. But if people started thinking just the slightest bit different and did minor things, it could change a lot. Perhaps instead of constantly driving everywhere, one could walk more or even carpool. And there is a slight change to reduce a big problem. It really is about being able to take on these issues with a humble and compassionate response. It definitely took me taking this class to develop these kinds of responses.
Overall, my experience with mindfulness and being more compassionate has affected my life for the better. I came into this course with a lack of knowledge and completely different perspective towards wicked problems. Mindfulness has been a key in being more compassionate and humble along with developing better responses even outside of this class. In five short weeks, I have gained a deeper understanding of all that goes on in the world and how to handle it.