Mindfulness in the Living Environment

Wicked is a breathtaking word. What does it mean to have a “wicked” problem? Wicked is defined as

“Evil or morally wrong”

“Intended to or capable of harming someone or something”

“Extremely unpleasant”

 All of these definitions can be related to the wicked problems that our world is facing today, and the ones we have discussed in class. A wicked problem is a problem that has no endpoint and no definite solution, making it an endless problem that will never have a solution.

This class has helped develop my understanding of what it means to have a wicked problem and the complexity that comes with one. I have learned that what makes a problem wicked, is the inability to come up with a liable solution to these pressing problems that we are faced with.

Before coming into this class, I was aware of the ever-increasing intensity of environmental issues our society has caused, such as global warming, rising carbon emissions, depletion of our natural resources, and deforestation. Throughout my primary schooling, we would occasionally discuss some of these issues, but we would never go into depth or even discuss possible solutions to these issues. I now wonder why these topics weren’t more discussed, as they are very important and should be something that every person considers in their everyday lives and continuing education.

The articles we have read in this course have piqued my interest and fueled my passion of wanting to help create a sustainable economy with architecture. I know that I as an individual cannot make a significant impact on global issues, but there are still things I can do to help. One thing I can do is bring the awareness of these problems to as many people as possible. I can also make sure that I work for a sustainable company and bring awareness to that company. I never realized how quickly our environment is being destroyed by humans. Each article makes me realize that something big is going to have to change in our culture if we want to save earth and the human race. I know that I will personally do my best to implement changes in order to help the environment, like not giving in to fast fashion.

Although there are no clear solutions to wicked problems, there are still useful ways that they can be approached. When approaching a wicked problem, we must approach it thoughtfully. We must keep in mind that what might possibly work now, may not work in the future. Part of wicked problems being so wicked is the fact that even if they are solved partly, there will always be more problems that come from it. That is why it is important to

Discussing wicked problems comes with repercussions. For me, this includes a feeling of anxiety. I am concerned the well-being of earth, our society, and future generations. There are no clear solutions to these pressing issues, so when you think about them your mind can easily derail into an endless spiral of “what if’s”. To help combat this looming feeling, we started practicing mindfulness in class.

Throughout this course we have had a focus on being more mindful in our everyday lives as well as in our academic life, specifically in our learning. To be mindful is to be aware of the thoughts that go through our minds and how to be aware of these thoughts and letting them go. Practicing being mindful can be done by simply meditating. When we practiced this in class, I felt very funny sitting so quietly in a room full of people. But I found that as I sat there and tried to clear my head of thoughts, it was nearly impossible. I never realized the stressful thoughts that go through my head regularly, even when I am trying to relax. My brain would think about all of the tasks I had to do or how hungry I was. This realization has made me bring my attention more to my thoughts, even outside of class, and with this I have started to redirect my thoughts to better things rather than the stressful thoughts that usually consume me. I have been able to apply mindfulness in my academic life as well. Being mindful to me also means to completely zone in and focus on particular tasks and I have been able to practice this while I work on projects and homework. In meditation, when you find your brain wandering off, you just bring your focus back to being aware of your surroundings. I have been able to apply this to myself when I work. Whenever I find myself getting distracted by other people, my phone, or even just my thoughts, I realize that I have veered off track and I bring myself back to whatever I am working on. f

Outside of class I have been meditating for ten minutes a day. At first, it was hard for me to remember to do this, but now it is not just an assignment, it is part of my daily routine. I have found it is easiest for me to meditate when I drive to class. It is nice to just clear my head before I start my day. I have noticed that when I spend time meditating, I have a more positive outlook for the rest of the day.

Mindfulness can be applied to the thinking about wicked problems as well. When we think about these problems and realize there are no clear solutions, being mindful and aware of this is very important for the next steps.

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