There have been 6 different characteristics we have learned about in this course. They each have to do with different aspects of the wicked problem itself. One of them being variable problem definitions, which means how different people may interpret the same problem or if they even see it as a problem in the first place. Different people will be viewing problems differently, one problem may lead to loss of money for some people and yet be a gain of money for others.
Everyone may see the problems differently and there is no fixed solution available. This is seen when talking about “solutions have no endpoint”, when even if there may be a solution available, another problem could arise from this. There is no actual endpoint to a problem. With all the trash that is thrown in the ocean, landfills, etc, our solution was recycling. But this solution costs money, even more money than cleaning the ocean, not everything is able to be recycled either. There is neglect in recycling, costing us thousands of dollars every year. Then the stuff that is not able to be recycled will also have to either be incinerated – which causes pollution – or if not, it will be thrown away – which contributes to toxic waste. Basically, there will never be an actual solution to any one problem. Problems will arise in every solution and no one solution will cause the end of the problem. This makes people insanely dedicated to a specific problem, people spend all their lives trying to help with a problem, but they know and understand that they cannot fix the problem 100%.
These are some ways that I have come to understand and view wicked problems. Deciphering them within these 6 characteristics helps me to better understand the problem at hand and come at it with different viewpoints, avoiding bias.
When seeing the wicked problems in the class, I mentally can’t believe this is what the world has come to. No end sight near. There is no way that we can restore the oceans, the rainforests, the arctic, to what they once were. The photos I have seen show the differences between a rainforest 50 years ago to now breaks my heart. All those species are no longer bountiful but rather near extinction. They lost their environment, they lost everything. We lost so much of what the world does for us for free, now knowing that what they do for free would cost us double of what the entire world makes in an entire fiscal year. The arctic is melting and the ice caps are quite literally falling off, the earth has warmed up so much and this is due to humankind.
Humankind has caused the downfall of the earth. The earth is no longer bountiful with beautiful animals but rather has a long list of endangered animals. This class has helped me realize that. As well as realize that I am not into environmental change as i should be. I feel as if i am not doing my part in trying to save the earth. I understand that there are so many small things I could do that could contribute greatly to this problem. Like I said before, it breaks my heart to see all this destruction caused to the environment due to humankind. We ruined the beautiful earth the universe gave it and made it our own, in a terrible destructive way. There is no way we can go back to what we once had because mass manufacturing is still going on and I highly doubt it will ever go away.
Meditation though is something that I have learned more about in this class and I love that. I have meditated before and I try to keep as consistent a schedule as I can. Before this class, i was irregularly doing meditation before bed. I knew it wasn’t enough and I hated how inconsistent I was, this class has taught me that dedication and doing it daily shows amazing improvements that I would love for my mental health. Meditation is all about not forcing your mind to think of nothing but rather a relaxation that cant compare to anything else. Meditation is all about mindfulness, making the body calm in this way. I now understand what meditation is about. Mindfulness, which for me is thinking everything as thoroughly as possible. Seeing a problem from different perspectives and coming up with solutions in this way.
With mindfulness it helps to better understand the wicked problems we talk about in this class. Like I said before, thinking everything thoroughly. Seeing where solutions can be discovered yet also realizing that solutions have no endpoint. Seeing that even if there may be a solution, other problems may arise from this very solution. Being mindful of how others may view a problem is also something that I had not once thought about before. This way I can think about multiple solutions to a specific problem.
The goal of developing humble and compassionate responses has been met personally, I feel as if learning these different problems and how others may not see them as a problem makes me understand and put myself in other people’s shoes. Being compassionate towards why one may feel a certain way about a wicked problem. The compassionate goal I feel as if I have accomplished but being humble about the solutions is something I am struggling with. The solutions that I have proposed to the wicked problems are expensive and therefore are not humble in this way. All these large issues need a large amount of money and doing it in a humble way takes much longer than it would if the case was relatively expensive. Though, this makes the issues costly and therefore creates even more issues of where this money can even come from. I mean, the US government spends money on the dumbest things and they cant spare a million dollars to environmentally time sensitive cases.
I feel as if this class has opened my perspectives, my eyes, and my mind as well. In mindfulness, I feel as if I have become more empathetic with people and outside forces that one cannot control. In seeing the problems in multiple ways, I have expanded my horizons and my mind to different perspectives, helping myself become more openminded.