What are Wicked Problems and what is classified as such? Before joining this class, the term wicked problems were not something that ever crossed my mind. I knew about unsustainable acts but never reach passed it in a way any other than the unsustainable crisis of fast fashion. I have been taught and studied about the effects of fast fashion and how unsustainable and unethical it is, but I never expanded my thoughts past that. In this class I was introduced to wicked problems, and what exactly the term means. Since class started I have learned about many problems that are classified as wicked that happen every day around us, as well as wicked problems that have been studied over the years, such as Easter Island and major environmental impacts. It was mind blowing and unbelievably shocking to see how every day we chose wrong and slowly kill what has kept us alive, Earth. Every single detail of our lives and culture is packed into a cycle that is all connected and seems to be continuously growing. From health issues to materialistic thinking our lives have connected while we have disconnected from nature and the Earth.
Why is it that before this class I was never introduced d to what exactly wicked problems are? Why do most people not know about this topic and how much it has, does, and can affect our entire existence? From my time spent here at college I have learned a great amount about unsustainable fashion, but I was never introduced to any other type of unsustainability or wicked problems we face daily until now. Through the past semesters I have had my eyes open to the damage I do and contribute to daily. Today we live in a world that only accepts you if you are the best and have the best. Our culture judges on one’s latest technologies, housing, clothes, and how much money we have. Pressure arises with what we will amount to be one day and what we be able to afford. More often times than not, we are judged and judge by our materialistic features rather than more important topics like humility. Sadly, this is a cycle that many American like myself happen to fall into. Without the knowledge of how unsustainable and crippling this culture and life style is, there is no way to break the cycle. One must know and understand the affects before you can change. One problem I have ran into is underestimating. I underestimate myself and what I can do to help others around me. As a consumer I believe that change does start with me. It is how I implement it into my life, and how I pass this information on to my neighbors, friends, and even children.
You cannot love someone without loving yourself, you cannot change someone without changing yourself, you cannot help someone without helping yourself. Everything you do will have a ripple effect or reaction, so choose wisely. Starting with yourself is the first step of implementing change. No matter what exactly the change is to be made, this is the most basic and needed step to greatly affect those around you. This happens from within, whether it’s a change in diet, addictions, or something deeper like your soul, it is important to heal oneself before the next. An example I think of is what is taught before an airplane takes off. If the plane happens to crash you must put your own breathing mask on before you can help others around you. This isn’t a “save yourself” type of mindset but rather save yourself before you try to save others. This can be implemented in change, help yourself before you help other. Before this semester of school, I was never one to actively meditate or take time to self-reflect on a daily basis. In the past I have tried to meditate on multiple occasions, but it was never an idea that crossed my mind on a regular basis. As we started to do short meditations in class it has been implemented into my daily schedule and surprisingly so I have seen small differences in myself and my days. I do not fully meditate for an hour while aligning my chakras, solely because I do not know how and that takes a long time to master. Instead I take around 10-20 minutes of each day, usually in the morning, to sit in silence and reflect on what the day will bring me. Occasionally I do this in the middle of the day or at a time that I am feeling overwhelmed with life, it has helped me reset to continue on. I have created a specific time slot in my schedule just as if I would for my skin care, and try to actively use that set period of time to relax and bring love, calmness, and confidence out from within. Since I have started this new ritual I have noticed less stress, less anxiety, and less mood swing. I have been able to understand on another level and love deeper than before. Knowing that I can calm and heal myself from within, makes me believe I can spread and give my kindness and knowledge to those around me.
Changing one’s views whether it is your own or others can be hard, time consuming, and demanding. Now, think about changing an entire generations mindset while trying to explain to them how what they have been taught is “right” and “normal” is actually wrong, harmful, and detrimental to our future and the ones to come. It is a struggle that my generation must be willing to understand and apply to overall save ourselves from the past. My generation is consumed by the media. We will and do believe almost everything they tell us, from advertising the new iPhone to selling beauty products, this generation is packed full of followers that race to get the new advertised object. The hard truth is many do not think for themselves, but many do not have the opportunity to. We were raised as puppets that the government, economy, and media control, and it is time to change that. Looking at every aspect of your life and realizing that almost every aspect and comfortable way of living is wrong, unsustainable, damaging, unethical, and even wicked. This can be hard to take in and understand deeply enough to change. My generation needs to be informed and held responsible with what we will do with this information. I believe that starts with me. If I am able to change myself and help others, maybe they will be able to pass along the knowledge and be willing to affect people around them.