I am currently enrolled at Oklahoma State University and am taking a class DHM-1101 that is focused on Wicked Problems and sustainability of and in our world. With the lessons that have been taught in class so far, I have learned that our planet is declining at a pace that is increasing each day. With this, not only comes health issues that will impact us as people but our environment as well. I think everyone is taught and is informed on most of these wicked problems such as global warming, climate change, sweatshops, and the mass extinction of more and more animals each day. A wicked problem is a problem that has an unknown number of consequences and the information to solve the issue is unmeasurable while the problem itself is difficult to define and organize. Making it very hard to solve and cannot be solved by just one sole person so to speak. Rather it can only be solved by everyone coming together as a collective and starting to do those tiny things that may get on your nerves like recycling constantly.
We as people are aware of these things though we are not aware that these problems are nearly unsolvable. Though when coming at problems in my everyday life with a clear and mindful mind, will help with finding solutions. I can also relate this to my practice of being mindful throughout my day. The best insight I have gotten so far is to think with a mindful mind. Thinking with a mindful mind consists of being insightful while being open-minded when talking to others with other views and opinions. When thinking mindfully, my mind feels clearer when dissecting new topics and I have found that it also creates new passions and interests about topics that will often help the sustainability of the environment as well. For Example, I recently started producing my t-shirts in Hemp, Organic Cotton. The use of hemp fabrics about to be included in my production could have multiple environmental benefits with it. Hemp is very eco-friendly as well as very sustainable. One reason for it being very sustainable is it can grow to full maturity in only three months as well as hemp taking in less water. With this next step in fabric, I think the fashion industry should make the move to use almost 100% of sustainable fabrics. While also not overproducing their inventory constantly. I think this is a step that needs to be taken to create a sustainable fashion industry for the environment as well as the people. Animals are being raised in farms grown for their fur. This creates very fatal diseases for the animals being raised on the farm created by their waste for the most part.
When reflecting on myself with “compassionate responses” is that I understand that no one is going to be able to give their all to help create a sustainable lifestyle. People are too busy with other things in their life to fully give their all to create a sustainable planet. I do believe that each act that is positive towards a better outcome with our environment should be looked highly upon. Throughout the class, we have been told that not everyone will understand around the same time as everyone else in the class. I agree with this statement because I think that I have times where I catch myself doing acts that are healthy for our environment, but I also see myself slipping throughout time. For instance, not throwing the correct materials in the correct disposal bin is the main issue for me.
Through an emotional approach, wicked problems can be very difficult to grasp and comprehend on multiple levels. One group can have a very strong opinion about one solution or problem, while the other group could have a different take on the wicked problem. It can be sometimes stressful to break down these problems. Recently in class, we are being taught meditation and all the pros behind meditation as well. For example, Meditation helps open the mind to help find new findings and can help people climb out of dark mental and physical holes they have put themselves in. When reflecting on myself, I have realized that meditation has helped me become more creative in my thinking though less forced when doing so now. Before meditation, I felt that I would try and rush my creative process whenever I was doing a task. After, I saw that I felt more relaxed and calm. I also felt more toned into what my task was at hand. I am going to continue practicing my meditation and hope to continue to gain new perspectives, build important skills, continue to keep focusing on the present, and lastly increase my creativity and imagination.
Overall, when reflecting on myself since enrolling in Wicked Problems, I have learned to understand how severe these problems are at hand and how we cannot solve these dilemmas with solely one person. Everyone will have to contribute in some way for the movement to start. I have chosen to reflect and put my mindfulness towards small baby steps for making our world more sustainable on every level. I think sustainability is a big topic everyone knows about but pays little attention to in their everyday lives. It will be difficult to stay on top of without a doubt though if I stay true to my practices on meditation and keep a mindful mind, I believe that I will start to become more aware of the wicked problems around me in my everyday life. By doing this, I hope to see young adults like myself see the small steps I take in my everyday life to be sustainable and then reflect it towards their own lives and sustainable journey. I hope to be more mindful of the things around me each day and take in others’ opinions and viewpoints on a day-to-day basis throughout conversations and daily topics.