Here’s to Moving Forward

Wicked problems have been around for a very long time now. They get talked about, learned about, and people try to come up with solutions for them. Groups of people will spend days and weeks trying to come up with a solution and just when they think they made a breakthrough, a fault shines out through the cracks. 

A wicked problem can be very difficult to understand for people. I think this is because we have always been taught that if there is a problem there will be a solution, but for these, there is no solution, it is just a problem, and ways to help. 

When trying to grasp a wicked problem there are many ways you can try. First, it can be a good idea to start implementing daily meditation into your routine. I know for me this has been very beneficial. During these ten minutes, I like to sit in my darkroom right before bed and listen to a guided meditation. I have been using an app called soothing pod for the past eight weeks or so. This app has helped me calm down before I go to bed, and let go of all of my stressors and it releases all the built-up tension in my shoulders and neck from school. When I first started doing mindfulness exercises I couldn’t focus and I wasn’t allowing my mind to turn off for five minutes. It can be very challenging to turn your mind off for just five or ten minutes and just sit there and think. During this time, my mind would be racing with new thoughts and ideas. After much practice, I have found it easier to shut my mind off for just a few minutes every day. 

When thinking about wicked problems, meditation is most of the time not the first thing that comes to mind, or at least it wasn’t for me. But the reasoning behind meditation I think is very helpful to reach the goal of truly understanding that there are problems in the world, and some of those problems do not have an easy answer or solution for them. Meditation helps calm the mind and puts you into a good, warm, and welcoming headspace to discuss these awful problems in our world today. 

When discussing with others it is important to think about how they might feel about a certain problem. None of these problems should be jocked about in my opinion because people could relate to them differently or some could mean more than others. For example, when talking about death. Death can be a very touchy topic for some or even mst people. Personally, I just experienced a death a little over a week ago. Even though death is not a wicked problem, bringing up something like this in a conversation could make one feel uncomfortable, or sad, or even mad. Everyone will view these issues differently and these can be hard conversations to have because there is no right answer with these problems, but there are also no wrong answers. With wicked problems, there can be many solutions that seem like the perfect solution and it would fix the problem quickly. This is just not the case and we have to remember this when talking about these problems with others. These conversations could get very heated very fast with the right topic and the right group. For example, global warming. Some believe that it is real and others strongly believe that those who think it’s real are just making it up. These two very different view points have divided our world for many years now. There is research, movies, journals, and more resources to show about global warming. Yet, some still believe that it is all one big hoax or placebo people are trying to pull. Personally when it comes to addressing these issues I try to humble myself and be thankful of what I have because I know that there are a lot of people who do not have as much as I do. I try to think of ways to help ease the stress of these issues, but that normally results with me getting overwhelmed because there is so much that has to go into finding something that could potentially ease the stress of an issue. 

Moving forward from this eight-week course, I will take definitely take some key components away with me. When I enrolled in this course I knew nothing about the topic, and had no idea what to expect. So like anyone else in this century with access to the internet, I googled wicked problems. Google told me that they were problems with hard solutions or problems that cannot be fixed. Then, classes start and I’m still not sure what this particular class is going to be about or what we will even be doing for an hour and fourty minutes every tuesday night. Through this course, I learned a lot and read a lot on all kinds of wicked problems. One in particular was plastic waste. This certain topic was fascinating because it had to do with my field of interest; interior design. We discussed other things like Easter Island, poverty, the free market and more. Some things that I will be taking away from this class are mindfulness practice, deep reading, and critical thinking. I really enjoyed the effect mindfulness practice has had on me over these past eight weeks. At first I thought that it was kind of strange, but I ended up really enjoying it in the end. The weekly reading assignments were packed with information, and filled with details. This course helped me build my reading and comprehension skills and it also helped with my critical thinking skills as well. The class and group discussions were the main things contributing to building these skills up. Learning how to adjust your answer off of someone elses or just coming up with a detailed and critical answer was challenging to do in class because it has always been easier to say the bare minimum in an answer as long as the question was answered, and my position was clear. But having to dive deep in the question, to be critical and thoughtful was a new thing that I had to overcome and adapt.  Also from this course the teamwork skill. This course was heavily based on teamwork. Group projects most of the time leave one or two people stuck doing the whole project in the end. It could stem from being a perfectonist or simply that you got paired with people who do not have a work ethic. In my experience, I found all my group members to be very helpful when it came to the infographic or even just discussing about what to write for a message in a bottle. 

In my circle of influence I will  use my new and improved skills of critical thinking, deep reading, team work, and being mindful to change how I talk to people and how I interact with them. I now know more about topics that some of my friends and family know a lot about, and I feel like now I can provide meaningful insight on these topics and help the conversation flow better.

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