Wicked Problems taught me everything that I didn’t know before I enrolled in this class. My knowledge of our environment was extraordinarily little compared to what I understand now. I was familiar with the stuff that we learned through our readings and projects that we started on, but I did not research more into the problems that our environment faced beforehand, and it shocked me on how little people do not understand about what is happening to our planet. A wicked problem is a problem that is impossible to solve. Overconsumption and textile waste is a huge part of the problems that we are stuck to fix before the entire world goes into shambles, but due to the 6 characteristics that we learned in class, I knew that it would not be easy to fix instantly. The 6 characteristics that we learned are 1. Variable Problem Definitions, 2. Variable Solutions, 3. Solutions have no end point, 4. Solutions pose irreversible effects, 5. Solutions require unique approaches, and 6. Urgent action is needed. What this means is that if we were able to solve the crisis on environmental damage, it would take a lot more than telling people what to do to solve this wicked problem. With each solution that is introduced, it would take a lot to convince people to change the ways that they live, and solutions can cause other problems that will need solutions which are constant and have no endpoint. Even though climate change has even more worsening effects and we need to act on the problem urgently, but unfortunately, we face overpopulation which can cause more waste, overconsumption on food and products to be manufactured due to high demand, and less resources for future generations.
It is strange to think about how hundreds of years ago, people from different generations and cultures faced the same things that we currently face, and yet we do not do anything about it to help solve the wicked problem of waste. In class we learned about Easter Island in which they lived on an island and contributed most of their resources based on their culture and beliefs, rather than what they needed to keep and grow to continue surviving the harsh reality of life. Because these people on Easter Island spent so much time sculpting these sculptures, they caused deforestation cutting down tree trunks and were so dependent on resources that it left their people without homes, food, and basic survival needs which eventually led to their demise. If we do not stop overconsuming products and continuing to chop down trees, ruining our wildlife and bodies of water/land, even if we continue to support these huge companies that contribute to a huge percentage of the problems that we face with unsustainability, our planet will have worse conditions such as climate change and damaging effects. What these people on Easter Island faced is like how our conditions are now in 2022, and we need to prevent what happened to Easter Island and prevent it from happening to us.
In this course we talked about ways to live more sustainably. When it comes to our current generation now, we think that what we do to our planet will not affect us in the future but that is wrong. With every little action that we do, we leave an effect on our ecological footprint and we cause even more damage to the environment. There will be fewer resources available in order to survive, horrible living conditions such as deforestation and drought everywhere, animals going extinct and oceans becoming lands of plastic waste and trash. Our world is run by huge corporations that run on money, and they use that money to create more money, or waste it on stuff that will worsen our planet, such as creating more warehouses or manufacturing buildings that constantly use up a lot of water and chemicals, along with fossil fuels and other harmful gasses and chemicals. It is scary to think about especially since we all may have contributed to waste because it has become our culture to buy products and dispose of them when we are done, because we all have been taught the same but without the knowledge of the repercussions that we would soon face. It can be extremely stressful to think about, and I understand why meditation and mindfulness plays in wicked problems because it could help us calm down and be less anxious about how our environment is in a detrimental state and needs help.
Because we were able to learn mindfulness in this course, I can have my time in silence and peace to think and connect with my body as well as calming my anxiety about anything that is bothering me. Mindfulness will guide me towards more eco-friendly and sustainable companies in the future because even if I lessen the use of plastic waste and other unsustainable products, I can make a difference and if everyone had this mindset, we would not have the wicked problems that we currently face today. Meditation is extremely important especially when you need to take time to yourself to think to yourself and feel relaxed while doing it. By learning mindfulness in this class, it has helped me better comprehend the issues of sustainability, as well as better understand myself and my state of mind. To be able to change what is going around you, you must be open to trying new things and diverse ways of living life, and meditation can help with that. Once you are able to take a step back and really see what is going on around you, you can utterly understand the urgency of the situation. Meditating before class has really helped me calm myself in urgent situations that I currently face now, and I can reflect on my feelings and how I can help better not only myself, but also better the way that I live and give back in life and doing better in the world.