Reflection of Growth After Learning Wicked Problems

After learning the topics mentioned in this course, I became more compassionately curious about what was happening around me. When I take a step back and observe a problem, it makes me realize how much it affects my life without knowing because I could be a part of a problem that is ruining society and the world. I  feel the impact on my life. All the problems we heard in class made me want to learn more about it and I wanted to know what I could do to help if there was a way to help. I tend to call myself a sensitive person, and knowing that these problems, which are considered wicked problems, are occurring around me, I have very much compassion. After gaining daily awareness through meditation, it made me more aware of my position in society and the implications of my choices. Not only my position in my daily life, but also my position in these wicked problems. I realized that the practice of mindfulness to understand my place in these problems and how I can help. When I continue to practice daily meditation even after this class it will help me find more of my place and my thoughts. 

I have always been fascinated by the ocean. When I was little, I used to look up articles and read a lot of books about the sea. By elementary school, I was aware of the impact humans had on the ocean. I’ve even been part of the no-straw trend since early high school, because a video I saw of a straw ending up in a turtle’s nose straw causing it to die. My love for the ocean also led me to loving shark week , and one of the people on Shark Week was Paul Degerder. After I saw him on Shark Week, I followed him on his Instagram and saw him praise the “Seaspiracy ”, the documentary he was involved with. I decided to watch the movie and learned about the many human impacts on the ocean and the aftermath of human commercial fishing. After years of researching information about the ocean, I felt ignorant that I knew nothing about this great impact on the ocean. A closer look at the documentary reveals that commercial fishermen deliberately leave fishing nets in the ocean, wrapping and killing millions of marine life each year. Professional fishermen are responsible for taking too many fish out of the sea, and if they accidentally catch another animal next to a fish such as a dolphin, they leave it on board to die, and then do it again. I also learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is a collection of trash sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I was surprised that I didn’t know most of these facts. I also didn’t know that the main source of garbage in the garbage dump was fishing nets. I wondered why I I didn’t know these things and felt like such a selfish and rude person. What makes people want to  kill animals or leave fishing nets in the ocean? The information I learned hit home for me because of my love for the sea .  After practicing mindfulness in class and noticing my thoughts and feelings I thought of ways I can help. I can raise awareness through social media and I can help clean up the ocean with my scuba diving skills. 

I was very reluctant to practice mindfulness in class. To be honest, I thought it was unnecessary and strange. The fear of judgment and the fear that people would stare at me made me unaware of my thoughts during this time. I sat in class and tried to look around, sometimes taking a nap. One day, when I gave it a little chance in class, I realized that it was a really good way to reflect on my thoughts. I was too busy to put time aside for a few weeks while I was wrapped up in the work of “America Greatest Homecoming ”. I later returned to that idea. On Monday after returning to class after homecoming, I took time to pay attention before going to bed, but  my roommates were always crowded and noisy, so it was difficult to concentrate. I came to the conclusion that night is not the right time to practice mindfulness. Then one morning of the same week, all my roommates were sleeping and I had some time before the class started, so I decided to give it a try. Starting the day with mindfulness practice made me more open to other opinions and able to think about my inner qualities. It even helped me in my learning process because I could understand the many different aspects of the topics and how I felt about them. I started making time every morning for mindfulness practice and made it a routine. I have seen myself change for the better because I have the ability to take a step back and look at problems as a whole and not just what goes on in my life. Mindfulness has affected my life because I can take into account many different ideas and perspectives from a broader view. Mindfulness has affected me emotionally because evaluating problems has made me emotionally attached to them. Mindfulness has also made me less stressed. I overthink everything and always feel that I have to do something other than what I am doing.  Mindfulness helped me in my wicked problems class when analyzing many different topics because I could evaluate my thoughts and see what problems I cared about the most and what I could do. Mindfulness focuses on breathing and being in the moment, so using mindfulness relieves tension and stress. Using the information I learned in this course, mindfulness allows me to focus my thoughts on the wicked problems around me and inform others. 

This class has given me a greater view on all the problems in the world and has shown me what I really care about. I have learned what areas of focus I care about the most. After my experience working on the annotated bibliography and doing the infographic I have earned a deep caring about the wicked problem of sweatshops in the apparel industry. I realized how awful the wages, working conditions, and hours are that the people in sweatshops face. I even realized they are still present in the U.S today therefore it is a problem going on right around me. With the information I learned I can encourage the people around me to look into where they are buying clothes and to think before buying. Also learning about wicked problems I have grown a deep concern in global warming. After watching the 11th hour in class and reading the passages and many views on global warming I have grown more interested. Like the yes and no readings I have an understanding there are different views on the topic but I want to understand all sides of the argument and look into what I believe. I can help inform my friends and family that don’t know much about global warming on what they can do. I can also talk to my friends and family about their views and see how it affects my thoughts through mindfulness practice. My wicked problems class overall has shown me that there are many problems around me that I do not know are going on and I need to take a step back at the bigger picture. Meditation has made me more aware of what concerns me because I can really analyze my thoughts and why I am thinking things. I now have a more positive outlook because I know what is important to me and how to make time to analyze my thoughts in a way to make a difference. 

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