This class over the last eight weeks has become an unforeseen mental awakening for me personally. I could not have imagined that in a class as short as this one I could be packed full with loads of information about not only how to better myself, but better my community, my industry, and hopefully even the world. It has become a class that has inspired me to look deeply into multiple scenarios of how different situations in my life could potentially play out and to then critically think about the action I want to take before I decide to take it.
The first big takeaway I have from this class would be the importance of self help before all else. It is extremely important to be in a positive headspace individually and to better your personal actions before attempting to change the way others live out their lives. I think meditating daily, even in the simplest of ways, could be a mental refresh and an opportunity to feel good about yourself so that you can be inspired to carry over the positive energy into what you do. If you take time each and every day to breathe and calm your mind, you can allow yourself to look past the little minuscule thoughts that do not really have an effect on your well being and shift your engagement to more prominent issues and focus on those instead.
I think one really important thing that I learned throughout this half-semester is that once you decide to get in the right headspace and get yourself in the best place you can be mentally, then it clears your mind more and enables you to focus on worldly problems rather than your own personal ones and can encourage your actions towards a more sustainable lifestyle. This is where I think I would fall. I have gotten into a routine of meditating and changing my mindset towards focusing on things that really matter as opposed to what my hair looks like that day, which sounds silly, but was one of many little dumb things that do not even make a difference on my life, unless I allow them to. I now have gotten to where I sit down and relax and just process information and choose to let go of the things that do not matter and shift my mindset to the things that do. Then I use that to determine what I will focus on during that specific day and have my actions follow alongside that.
Thinking about all that needs to be done makes me extremely anxious and I freak out not knowing how I myself could even make a difference in our big big world, but I have come to the conclusion that taking small steps in the right direction is much much better than just sitting and being content with where I am and where the world is at. In that case, I have recently decided that I want to take initiative in my household to start recycling. I think recycling is probably the first step towards living a more sustainable lifestyle. It is a pretty simple shift in my daily routine that does not even take much more effort, but it is something that I have made excuses against in the past due to misinformation on the topic as a whole. Now that I went through this class, I feel way more informed than ever about how it all works and I now know how beneficial it can be when done correctly. It is a super small step and I definitely want to do more than that, but it is more than I am doing now so I do think that it is a really good place to start. Along with recycling just within my own house, I want to encourage my family and friends to do it as well. I might even offer to pick up their recycled items and take them to the correct place for them so that they do not have to worry about it, just as an extra incentive to get them to join me in participating in that extremely small change. I think it would be really cool if I could somehow kickstart that change in my community and be of encouragement to those around me by spreading the information that I learned from this class. I think a big part of why people do not see the need to do these little things is because they do not actually know how far down the wrong path we have gotten ourselves. I think that was a big part of it for me. Yeah, sure I heard about how we do not take the best care of our planet, but I never fully understood the extent of it and how bad it could pan out for all of us if we do not seek other options for our everyday actions. Because of that, I think it would be important for me to spread the knowledge I have gained from this course to better inform people and hopefully inspire them to re-evaluate their options and their priorities as well
Now do not get me wrong, I really do think that recycling is a great start and that it is better than doing nothing at all, but I do truly believe that if we want to make a change in our world and also live long enough to see it, we are going to have to do a lot more than just recycle. I do not know exactly what else I am going to make a priority to do, but I am new to all of this so I am still figuring it out, but I do think it is important that I have decided to kickstart that side of my lifestyle. I think another thing that I want to start doing is supporting locally rather than supporting major corporations. We talked throughout the last eight weeks how that can spiral in a positive light and could lead to a sea of betterment in sustainability. I think going to a local farmers market for food and clothing could be so good in comparison to supporting big brands who run large industries that make up a large majority of our world’s sustainability problems.
At the end of the day I am still really new to this whole concept and am finding my way in all of this, but I am most definitely walking away from this class more inspired about this subject than I have ever been. It has been truly eye opening and is overwhelming at times to decipher right from wrong in my decision making, but at least now I am more aware and at least putting forth more effort to try and make a difference in my habits. Alongside this, I am also passionate about encouraging people like me to get informed and join me in this new walk of sustainability. Big or small steps forward are still steps in the right direction and if I work hard enough maybe I can eventually start a movement in my family, city, or workplace that could have a lasting effect on the future.