A compassionate approach to the wicked problems within our wicked world.

I would never have imagined that I would gain this much compassion and humility through a design course. When choosing my major, interior design, I never took into consideration the wicked problems that stood behind it. In this course, I have gained a great amount of knowledge about the wicked problems that we face in this wicked world. To be sustainable in the field of design means you have to take a compassionate approach at dealing with every material and resource that is used. Through the knowledge I have gained as well as my intake on mindfulness practice, my eyes have opened to the importance of being in touch with oneself. To be in touch with your mind and body is also to be in touch with your surroundings. This has helped me utterly understand how important the bigger issues of this world are.  

I had never heard of a wicked problem until I was introduced to it in this course. A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve. Wicked problems can be shown in this world through various social and cultural issues, including many climatic challenges, and even challenges that have been brought on by the design field. In this course, we have learned what is beyond the surface of design. We learn how to become more compassionate within the resources and materials we use, making more sustainable decisions. Solving a wicked problem requires a deep understanding of the subject involved. We are introduced to innovative ways to approach the problem in a way that exemplifies humility and compassion. Before taking this course, I was completely oblivious, and I had no understanding of a wicked problem and what it means. Now that I have learned about the topic and the issues within it, I am able to approach the usage of things within my field. To ensure I will make the most compassionate approach, I will remain humble and calm. 

Sustainability generally refers to the earths biosphere, and human civilization co-existing. To be sustainable is to play your part in ensuring the earth is put first. In order to understand the importance of sustainability, you must look at it with a humble approach. I have learned to be humble when making decisions. In this course I have gained knowledge on what it means to be humble and what it means to be sustainable.  

 Global warming is a topic that I gained a great amount of insight on the first week of class through a movie titled “the 11th hour” starring Leonardo Dicaprio. This movie explained how global warming is destroying our environment at an extremely fast rate. Global warming is a wicked problem, due to the difficulty of the issue being resolved. Without the compassion I have gained, I would not be able to realize how my everyday life plays a big part in our world. I now know that every factor in design needs to be approached in the most sustainable way possible.  

Through mindfulness practice, I have become more in touch with my mind and body. Practicing mindfulness can be done in many ways. I have been able to practice mindfulness through meditation, helping me to be intensely aware of what I am sensing and feeling in the moment. In this course, we begin each class with meditation. Since being introduced to the practice of mindfulness, I have become humbler and more compassionate. Within my field, approaching things in a humble and compassionate way is important to sustainability. In interior design, many materials can be considered unsustainable. This makes it hard to be sustainable while also being in the field of design due to the multiple varied materials that are needed within the field.  

Not only does mindfulness practice help me better understand the importance of compassion and humility within my field but it has also helped me to be more in tune with myself. Practicing mindfulness meditation helps me to be calm, removing all toxic thoughts from my head. My favorite practice of meditation I have learned since practicing mindfulness is called “deep belly breathing”. When practicing deep belly breathing, your heart rate slows down, and your blood pressure lowers. For myself, this practice is most beneficial at night before falling asleep. It helps me to reflect on my day and let go of all negative energy. Staying calm is important when approaching many decisions in life, even outside of wicked problems. Being calm helps you to react in a humble and compassionate way. Rather than making an impulse decision, staying calm allows you to take the time and think of all possible outcomes, so that decision will be more thoughtful. It is proven that mindfulness practice at least once a day can relax the body and mind and reduce stress, so I will continue to do so as I keep seeing the results that I am. I would encourage everyone to incorporate mindfulness into their everyday life to reduce stress and to live a happier lifestyle.  

Through the last five weeks in this course, I have learned to be more compassionate, humble, and intellectual. Not only in my everyday life, but in my practice as well. I have learned to remain calm when approaching problems, and wicked problems at most. Through practices like mindfulness meditation, I have been more in touch with my mind, body, and heart. This led me to be more intellectual, emotional, and somatically in touch, which are all traits I need to be able to fully understand the compassion and humility that should go into every thought when dealing with something like a wicked problem. This course has introduced me to many things I hadn’t known before, including the practice of mindfulness meditation that I now use in my everyday life. I have developed a different mindset when looking at materialistic things, thinking “how could this effect my environment?”. Not only have I learned about how to become humbler and more compassionate through this course, but many things beyond that as well.   

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