Mindfulness in the wicked problems of the world

Before the first day of class, I had never realized mindfulness meditation existed. I learned that the difference between normal meditation and mindfulness meditation is that in mindfulness you focus on something rather than nothing. The first session was difficult for me since I would start drifting off and becoming tired. I was hesitant on whether or not I would end up liking it, since I’ve tried getting into meditation, but unfortunately, it never stuck around more than a day. That being said, I was excited and hopeful that this time would be a little different. As I began implementing it into my day-to-day life, I started to enjoy it. I try to incorporate meditation at the end of my day since it not only prepares me for my sleep but also helps get rid of any stress I had throughout the day. My mind starts to rest, not worrying, trying to focus on my breathing, my hands and parts of my hands, like my fingers, my feet on the ground, and at times I focus on how my blood travels throughout my body. Since, nighttime is when my mind starts to wonder and overthink the most, I am able to ease my mind, which has become useful. Now, every time I become overwhelmed, or stressed, I meditate, even if it is just for a couple of minutes. This helps me refocus my thoughts and helps me look at the situation from a new angle.

One of the meditations in class where we labeled our thoughts has impacted me quite a lot. I deal with a handful of thoughts and emotions, like any other human being, but I would always overlook them. I would spend hours overthinking my emotions and/or thoughts, but I was never able to fully understand them. I’ve tried labeling my thought and emotions, ever since that day, when my thoughts or emotions start overflowing my mind. Although I’ve only done it once or twice during meditation, it has helped me become curious about my emotions and thoughts. Throughout my day, when I’m distracted, I also tend to label my thoughts and occasionally my emotions. It has allowed me to focus on my emotions and thoughts and come to understand and reflect on them, rather than ignore them and put them to the side. Though it has only been a couple of days, I feel like this practice will only benefit me in the future since I’ll be more aware of my emotions and thoughts, and it will allow me to have a deeper understanding of why I might be feeling the way I am.

I’ve always been aware of the fact that environmental problems existed in the world, however, I never thought that I was a part of the problem, nor was I interested in being an ally. I suppose I assumed that other people would end up discovering a solution. It never seemed as though it would end up affecting me. It wasn’t until a year or two ago when I became fascinated to learn about some of the problems we are currently facing and ways I could contribute to reducing the said problem, even if it is by 0.0001%. My perceptions about these issues have changed drastically. People have spoken about ways certain problems can be solved, if only the people and/or the government implemented their proposal, however, it isn’t that simple. I’ve learned that a wicked problem doesn’t have a “right” or “wrong” solution. No matter how good a solution may sound at the time, further problems will arise because of that solution, that’s why it’s called a wicked problem. It may benefit some, but others will suffer because of the different variables that exist. As someone who wants to help solve the environmental damage previous generations have created, I feel torn with the fact that there is no solution, at least not in the near future, that could possibly leave every single person content.

Up until a few months ago I never imagined that the industry I would be heading towards is one of the biggest producers of our carbon footprint, that textile dyeing produces a ton of water waste, and there may be more that I am still not aware of. We, as a society, as people who will end up working in the industry need to fix the problem. I completely understand if people think that it is not their problem because I too was once that person, but we have to realize that generations behind left a mess we, future generations, will end up being affected by it, while also having to deal with the fact that we will also have to clean that mess up. Something that I’ve learned is that we need to understand the problem first and figure out who are the stakeholders and how they benefit from the problem while also focusing on those who are at a disadvantage. As mentioned previously, a wicked problem has no definite solution because of the different variables, so ever since class started, I’ve been asking myself how we will end up “solving” these problems. In our most recent assignment, we read that we might never have the “right” solution, that it’ll only be what we think is right at that point in time, and that later on, we might end up discovering newer and better solutions. Because of this class, I am able to look at problems with a curious mind and a humble approach. From the knowledge I had prior to the knowledge I’m currently obtaining, I’m able to broaden the way I think about certain situations and problems that I face in my day-to-day life, whether that be a homework assignment or a problem that is much bigger than me. It has been a noteworthy class that I believe and suggests that everyone should take a class like this, no matter the age, to have a clear understanding of what is going on around them while also becoming attentive about their thoughts and emotions.

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