Wicked Problems and Me

Before taking this class, I never really thought about wicked problems as something major or important. I knew that they existed, but I really couldn’t comprehend how they could or would affect me and the people I care about. I think that learning about the wicked problems in a lot of detail has really affected me in a positive way and has really made me grow and think about things in a different light. I have already somewhat talked about how mindfulness practice has changed me, but I want to go deeper. I am somewhat of a judgmental person. I don’t particularly like that I am, and I’ve wanted to change for quite a while. I think that this class has helped me in a really good way because I can feel how much less I judge people. I think that not only meditation but also this class and what we learn had impacted me, not just emotionally but also as a whole. I can go into life and learn more without that judgment that is so often talked about. As a person, I try to be as polite and understanding to others with different opinions, within politics or just overall. But there was always that voice in the back of my head that would just tell me how wrong the other person was and how I was always right. With what we are learning and have learned in this class, I am able to not have the small voice in my head and I am able to almost fully understand how they came to their opinion, and if I’m not I can comfortably ask questions that allow me to go deeper into the topic. I think that this has humbled me and made me a better person.

Personally, my progress toward our goal of taking a compassionate curiosity to the multiple ways to understand wicked problems has been going quite well. I have learned so many things but more importantly I have learned how to ask the right questions and even how to answer those questions. When coming into this class I did not know what a wicked problem was, I thought that during this class we were going to be learning about how to be sustainable within each of our professions. And although we do learn somethings about that the main point was the major problems and how even if there is no clear way to completely fix the problem there is a way to help and many are looking for a way to fix it. Having to do mindfulness practice has been surprisingly, not easy, but enjoyable. Not that I thought it would be boring or hard to do but when I have taken a meditation class in the past, it was hard to concentrate and that made it less enjoyable. I have personally been a lot calmer and more patient recently and I think that it is due to my meditation that I’ve been doing before bed. I think that while using my mindfulness practice it has made me become a calmer and more patient person, and because of how that has allowed me to take a compassionate curiosity to the multiple ways one comes to understand a wicked problem.

There are a lot of things that combine to make a wicked problem. To have a wicked problem, there must be a problem that has several different ways of “fixing” said problem. There will be many disagreements on how to come up with a solution because of all these different ideas and standpoints. This is one of the hardest parts to solving a wicked problem because if no one can agree there will never be a solution that everyone can agree on. Something else that is very important about wicked problems is that they need to be fixed as soon as possible. This causes more tension when trying to find a solution because of how little time and how much pressure is put on people. This is one of the hardest parts for me personally, because I don’t know much about how to fix things especially things that are as big and important as wicked problems. So, how am I supposed to help when I don’t even know where to start? There are so many ways that someone can help but at the same time they could look more into what I’m doing, and it turns out that I’m not actually helping at all or very little. This is a big concern for me but when I think about it, I am still trying to help and if what I’m doing isn’t doing what I think then I will do something else.

When I enrolled in this class, I did not know anything. I was told by my advisor that I needed to take this class and so it was put onto my schedule. It was hard to get into at first, mindfulness practice that is. I would just sit in class with my eyes closed and “try not to think,” the problem with that is when someone tells you to not think your mind goes everywhere all in one second. We, as a class, were supposed to practice mindfulness practices outside of class.  I often forget to, but when I remember I have the best sleep of my life, but even then, most of the time I was still just sitting there with my eyes closed. I couldn’t see it then, but I can now, that just sitting there breathing was helping me. When I practice meditation, I completely change, as a person. It had no idea the impact it would have on me and how it would change how I think and look at things. I think that even after this class is over, I will still make sure that mindfulness practice is still in my routine because it has truly help me become a better person and I do not want to lose that.

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