Wicked Problems

I have come to the ultimate understanding that wicked problems are cultural/social problems that are very difficult to find solutions to. Even those solutions can induce the further risk of propelling the formation of future problems. In order to indeed be able to understand a wicked problem, you have to successfully integrate and establish the intellectual, emotional, and somatic components allowing for the formation of a compassionate relationship with the problem. The overall goal of this course is to solidify progress in incorporating the previously stated elements, as well as be mindful of its practices. I plan on accomplishing this goal by making the problem personal. In an effort to understand the effects of a problem, you have to see how they pertain to you. How would this problem cause issues in your life? In analyzing this, you begin the initial steps in forming a relationship. The mind formulates a basis in the contents of the problem and highlights the key aspects involved. The identification of the key contenders formulates the reaction to the problem. When researching the topic, I am best prepared for an intellectual consensus and am able to factor in reasonable solutions that reflect my problem-solving strategies. The rational sense for problem-solving is a crucial step in working with wicked problems. It propels the initial response of collecting an overall consensus on the controversy while fueling creative design in problem-solving.

The emotional (heart) incline to effectively produce a solution to the wicked problem is regarded as the most important component. Wicked problems, I think, are considered wicked due to their consequences on the environment, cultures, and societies. It is prioritizing the meeting of needs of the growing and expanding population and the developing urban growth that leads to resource depletion and overall creates environmental destruction. The way that I am able to bring compassion when working towards a solution to wicked problems is through prioritizing it as a fundamental force. In appointing compassion, it enables me to best see and appreciate all sides of the issue and the implemented stressors. I am best able to exhibit compassion when I am able to identify who is impacted by the change and what can be the possible solution. Curiosity is key to deepening the connection of the issue. In being curious, you find the deeper relation of the problem and connect better to the feelings rather than the problem itself. It made me think more about different walks of life and how some people didn’t even ask to end up there, and sometimes that place in life isn’t the most sustainable one. I plan to focus on the pain rather than the problem. The best way to resolve problems with compassion is to connect the people whole heartily without the intrusion of problem-solving. The importance of compassion is that it forces pain on the uninvolved party and may cause a change of opinion, therefore, changing the course of action. Possible solutions are not designated answers to the problems. However, it is a starting point and guideline toward a sustainable solution. The heart is something that experiences the most pain in an individual’s lifetime. Pain is something that does not discriminate, and by integrating compassion, there is a heightened effect of demonstrated actions that prioritize the minimizing and healing of that pain.

The last component in solving wicked problems is the somatic (body). Now, this is something that I am still figuring out; however, I have grasped the basic understanding that it is in relation to the effects of the body. The relationship between the mind and the body is associated with the somatic practice. The way that somatic practices take part in problem-solving is similar to somatic therapy in that it utilizes the method of incorporating a person’s mind, body, and spirit into the healing process. The body takes up a great deal of stress when undergoing problematic situations and environments. Developing an awareness of the physical complications in wicked problems while practicing mindfulness enforces clarity and a state of relaxation, which allows for a clearer understanding, and a loose approach in the brainstorming the execution of a potential solution. Mindfulness is very important in this concept because its focus is on the body. Regardless, the human mind controls everything, and it is impossible to completely separate the two. Acknowledging the mind and its power and treating it with respect allows for the somatic process to start.

When enrolling in wicked problems, I had no expectations and was honestly confused about what the topics and concepts would be. My interest peaked immediately within the first two class periods. The concepts and teachings made me utterly confused. However, the feeling of confusion began as a building block in solving problems efficiently. Even before this class, I have practiced mindfulness. I used mindfulness and meditation as a way to ease my anxiety and help with my depression. In 2008 my parents got divorced, and I got depressed. My depression caused me to isolate myself and develop severe social anxiety. In an effort to combat my mental illness, I began my research journey of sustainable, healthy, transformative sources of treatment. It was YouTube that introduced me to the traditional practice of meditation and manifestation. I began to incorporate and practice meditation over the course of the past year and a half, and the results were illuminating. My journey with meditation today has evolved into healing and charging my chakras. In problem-solving, practicing mindfulness helps me keep myself calm and evaluate the situation clearly, without getting too scared or negative. Sitting with yourself without the stress and worry of everyday life and viewing things simply lets me see sustainability as a complex issue but a manageable one.

I have already seen growth in not only my measure of comprehension regarding wicked problems but also the execution of purposeful problem-solving. I hope to further learn how to involve intellectual, emotional, and somatic components and gain a greater understanding of effective solutions. I look forward to the rest of the semester in Wicked Problems!

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