We All Have A Role To Play

Throughout the duration of this course, I have been able to look at the world from many different perspectives. Not only those around me, but those points of view from someone I would have never thought of, such as the manufacturers of certain products, and the buyers of these products etc. Using mindfulness, I have begun to better understand the different issues that can be displayed throughout any sort of problem, and how this may contribute to its complexity. Understanding these different aspects has, in addition, allowed me to better comprehend the total perspective of the definition of a wicked problem. Understanding the complexity of these issues has inadvertently caused me to wonder how many of these issues can be resolved with all who have a stake in the issue being happy. In many cases, the solution simply cannot make all of the stakeholders happy with the changes. A majority of the time, in one way or another, some party or parties must sacrifice in order to accomplish anything. Unfortunately, it would seem that the party that has always had to pay this sacrifice has been the consumer or the environment. For example, if there is a shortage of a certain type of wood, the demand for this material goes up. In response to this issue, companies will raise the prices of this material and try to acquire more of it, leading to more deforestation, and more money spent by the consumer. A response that would greater benefit the total situation would be to plant more of whatever material is needed to provide more materials for the future. However, this future approach is something that is not commonly seen in today’s society. Although this course has allowed or forced me to look at all the different issues faced by society and how sad some people’s mindsets are, it has also allowed me to look at the positive responses that can be implemented to make a change. Being mindful has allowed me to not use judgment in the search for solutions, as well as understanding that judgment will not fix anything. Being humble and not trying to be or look better than others has allowed me to understand the small everyday changes we can make to live a more sustainable life. Daily changes such as taking shorter showers or not replacing clothes constantly may not seem like a huge deal, but if this lifestyle reflects on to your circle of influence, then on to their circles of influence it may eventually begin to make some sort of the small change in the system. On a larger scale outlook, making a change is quite a bit more complex. There are many different factors and perspectives to take into account. Before this course, if there was an issue I would point out the obvious solution and not look any further, however, after looking deeper into the solutions I now understand that the “obvious solution” is usually never beneficial to everyone. For example, when the increasing issue of climate change was depicted in the media, as everyone does, I thought “why can’t everyone just stop burning so many fossil fuels?”. While to this specific issue, this response still lingers in my mind, it is linked with many other questions. After taking this course I have to think about the outcomes that would come with any sort of change put on to this issue. Such as, one change I thought could be made was to stop producing so many vehicles so society can not provide so many emissions. However, understanding the complexity of this issue, I now can understand limiting the production of such a thing would also cause a large percentage of the population within these industries to lose their careers and has the potential to completely demolish the economy. Having the ability to understand these issues has also allowed me to see why the government does not often put restrictions in place to help the environment. In addition, this has caused the thought that the government does not deal with these issues solely because they don’t want to or can’t figure out a proper solution. Although each issue comes with its’ own set of responses and complexities, I do still believe there are many changes that could be made to address and or correct these issues if given the proper amount of time and effort. Creating solutions for a wicked problem is nothing short of terrifying, or complex for that matter, however, it is not the solutions that are hard to understand. Creating a solution that could, in the long run, help the issue is not as complex as it is made out to be. The real issue that is the most “wicked” of them all, in my opinion, is society. There is never a way to completely satisfy society, and now that social media dominates the media platforms, society has more power than ever. Not that this is always a bad thing, but society has a way of simply defying any sort of change implemented, even if for the greater good. So, when trying to create any sort of solution for a wicked problem, trying to accommodate to societies expectations is almost impossible. Society does not adjust well to change and its responses are not something that can be predicted. Take the COVID-19 vaccine for example. When COVID first started, everyone was complaining that we should not be out and about etc. After a while, this turned into a question of why we can not just re-open everything. Then the side of society started to complain about masks, and when a vaccine was implemented that would allow for a normal daily life, and reduce the need for masks, there was still a large portion of the population who will not accept the vaccine. Although this is a much more issue than my short explanation allows it to be, it shows that there is never a way to satisfy all of society. In addition, trying to satisfy society and companies has the heaviest importance of trying to create a solution, while the environment and future sustainability are not looked at as important. I believe that there should be more focus on how we can maintain an environment that will suit future needs and current needs with the ever-growing population of the world. The human population continues to grow dramatically in numbers but the changes made to the environment to sustain such a population are not often implemented or thought about. Society always has a way of either accepting change or ignoring it after it is no longer a trend to defy it. Nature is not as simple, once we have gone too far it will be too late. There has to be more emphasis on the environment in order to create any sort of future. Although this is easier said than done, each member of society can play some sort of role in promoting a more sustainable future even on such a small scale. For instance, in my daily life, I try to walk or bike to any place that is practical. I also try to reduce the use of paper and plastic goods that can not be recycled. Along with many other things, these changes may seem small but, trying to influence those with who you come into contact often can have a chain reaction that can make a dramatic change. Everyone has to play their own part to try and have hope for the future.

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