Mind, Heart, and Body

My favorite article of the semester was Easter Island.  My mind keeps going back to the immigrants, how they survived, and what they endured. Unfortunately, it was not a happy ending.  Were they the first set of people to use of all the resources and not replenishing or conserving them?  For example, they used all the trees for canoes, huts, and rollers to move the large stone. Deforestation led to the collapse of Easter Island because of soil erosion.  Trees need to be replanted to help with oxygen to breath, a place for wildlife to reside, and reduce drought.  Easter Island became over populated.  The area of the island had to accommodate 7,000 people and there was not enough room for cultivation of crops, replenishing the chicken population, and fresh water.  Another contributing factor to their extinction was that each clan had a chief.  There was a lot of competition that ultimately lead to conflict.  They did not work as a whole, but as one unit that lead to division of the people.

After further readings, thoughtful insight, and in-class discussion, I feel like we haven’t learned very much from history.  In today’s society, we continue to create the same situation as the people of Easter Island. The deforestation of the rainforest in the Amazon is one example. The rainforest is being depleted for lumber, wood for fires, grazing land, road construction, and the extraction of minerals and energy.  As in Easter Island, our limited amount of land is being overpopulated. How do you correct over population?  It is against our freedom to limit the number of children a family can have.  Then the last mistake of Easter Island was there were too many chiefs.  We have several economically advanced countries with powerful leaders.  Yet, these leaders cannot work together for the good of the world. It’s a power struggle for advanced countries to make bigger and better, and be financially secure.

Before taking Wicked Problems, I thought being greener meant to not litter, walk or bike instead of driving, and not waste food.  Oh, how my mind has been opened up to the wicked problems of the world. The unconscionable ways of this world are seen at many levels.  There is the personal, citizen, industrial, and government level. My class has helped me see the light of how I can be better at leaving this world a better place for my future children.  I can also teach them how to be a productive, caring citizen of the United States. Citizens of this world need to be aware of the negative effects of their need for materialism.  How do you get people to change their mindset?  That is not done in one easy step.  It takes changing the paradigm of the mentality.  This will be difficult because the more people possess the more money the industry is making.  With proper advertising, influencers, and trendsetters all promoting the message of conservation, sustainability, and green living our homes and lives could be an exceptional place to live.  Being innovative and finding solutions for industry and government on sustainability and putting an end to global warming is a far reach above my ingenuity.  But I can continue to read about solutions, be an activist through my state representatives, and educate those in my inner circle about making our world cleaner and greener. 

When I started this class and the concept of mindfulness was introduced.  What does that have to do with Wicked Problems? Meditation helps to control your emotions.  It contributes to your well-being. Well-being can help a person to focus less on their personal problems and become more focused on environment problems. If our mental health is flooded with stress and depression, it is harder to consider societal concerns such as climate change.  When a person is dealing with personal problems, worrying about the world is a luxury.  Mindfulness gives us balance in life. Since our life is peaceful, we have the time and patience to help others.  Mindfulness allows one to understand problems of other people. We have the ability to focus on sustainable behavior. Mindfulness improves physical health such as chronic pain and immune functions.

Mindfulness and meditation are aspects of my Wicked Problems class that I have come to respect and appreciate.  I am aware of being sustainable in my degree of Interior Design. I can use my skills to help people with design for better mental health.  There are studies in the use of color psychology.  Colors have effects on calmness and anxiety.  Home should be a place of safety and security.  Design elements that influence mental health are function, clutter, spaciousness, balance and consistency, sunlight, color, shapes, plants and flowers, and natural elements.  It is easy to place items in a space, but home owners would feel exhausted and unorganized if the items were not balanced within that space. Badly placed furniture not only reflects the personality of the owner, but can clutter the mind.  A suggestion is to use modern, light furniture.  Having too much clutter is draining and frustrating. Clutter can consist of too many magazines, mail piled on the dining room table, or items stacked at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be carried upstairs. When clutter keeps you in the past, or takes you to the future, you cannot live in the present. Using systems of organization and storage to keep harmony and calmness in the home. The psychology of color makes a dramatic impact on feelings, moods, and emotions.  Bright and light colors make you feel active.  Dark colors deliver a strong atmosphere similar to night.  It is recommended to avoid gloomy colors such as black, navy, or gray since they will give a person negative energy. Selecting the correct color, by help of an interior designer, will help with mental health preservation.  Sunlight, wooden floors and furniture, and plants are natural elements that make interiors give a sense of internal peace of mind.  Cleanliness and clutter free are strong links to peace of mind.

I am truly thankful for the insights I have received through Wicked Problems, DHM1101. I am more aware of news reports, articles, and conversations about global warming and sustainability. I also have discernment to poverty and mindfulness. A reflection that I am excited to expand upon is housing for homeless people.  First, you can build 3-D printed homes economically. They are affordable, sustainable, and last 50-60 years. Once the homeless person moves in, they can help pay for the house by collecting trash, painting fence, or community service projects.  In these 3-D communities, the dwellers can continue to transition back into society.  I watched a clip from Matter of Fact, Solidad O’Brien, February 21, 2022 at www.matteroffact.tv titled A Tiny Solution to a Big Problem. In this broadcast, people are homeless due to mental health and drug addiction.  In the tiny community, health care workers help the residents get medication.  There are mental health workers to help with issues and drug addiction.  The residents have help through social services to get identification, jobs, and bank accounts. They are prepared to transition and survive in society. I would like to be involved in a project like this using my degree in Interior Design.

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