Sustainability is a Paradox

When I first chose to take this class, I had no idea what the course was going to be. I had heard from people who had taken it in the first semester that it was different but not difficult. They as well did not go into details about what I would be taking for 8 weeks. Before this class, I was of course, interested in the terrible things that haunt our world and are ultimately killing it but I never went into such details such as the 6 characteristics. Variable problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no end point, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and urgent action is needed. I never knew the detail that went into the problems that we have generated today.  

Something that has helped me emotionally understand a problem is that solutions have no end point. That even if we try and find a solution for something, a problem will arise from this solution. Making it a never-ending cycle that cannot be truly tackled. I understand it more emotionally as well when i think about variable problem definitions, that even if something may be an issue for one party, the other party greatly benefits from it. Now these reasons are not going to be morally good reasons but financially will help benefit someone else. Overfishing is causing the ocean to have less of its own habitat, decreasing the marine life apparent. But on the other hand, fishers that are doing this benefit financially by selling these fish to sellers. 

With developing humble responses, I have tried to use the characteristics. See what exactly is affordable and see what can financially be possible. There have been situations I have been in as of late, with people that try and bring up how so much can be done to help save the ocean, but I bring up how even if this may be true, manufacturers are still going on and are not looking to end their business any time soon. It may be harsh, but this is the way that the world works. I guess that means that there is no progress in my thoughts, other than people have to do what they have to do in order to survive, in those terms I feel as if my compassionate responses have improved. 

In this course, I was taught the benefits of meditation. Even if I knew some benefits, I never really went into the details as to how this would affect me even after stopping it. The benefits include mindfulness, better sleep, less depression, helps overstimulation, and so much more. Meditation has always been something I have been interested in, but this course definitely motivated me to keep on meditating and try to keep a consistent schedule with it. Consistency is everything in meditation, real benefits are more apparent when people consistently meditate. There is a level of calm in doing meditation that nothing else in my life can bring. It is a great tool to have during college and this class has definitely helped me. This has helped me to become more mindful in my circle of influence, think before I speak, make sure if I do not have anything nice to say then I shouldn’t be saying it at all.  

Meditation before bed helps my insomnia as well, with guided meditation it helps me to stray away from thinking about my personal problems excessively. I, since starting this course, have recommended meditation to those in my circle of influence. I tell them the benefits of it and how it can help them personally.  

The wicked problems that are being faced by this earth are terrible. From pollution, to overproduction, to deforestation, to oil spills. What I understand now is that none of these issues are irreversible or an easy fix. The amount of damage that has been done to this earth is so insanely ridiculous that there is no way we can save anything. Even if someone tries, their idea of helping could be damaging and financially difficult. Such as recycling, recycling has its benefits but that is if everything works out perfectly. If all that is being recycled can be used. There is a large percentage of what gets recycled that just gets thrown away. Not everything that is recycled can be or will be recycled. Which then turns out to be financially heavy.  

Even if this damage is irreversible, that does not mean I want to contribute to this. Small things that can be done is recycling, biodegradable items, such as clothing and food items, helping pick up trash in public places, plant trees, give money to those that are in need, use contraceptives, find a ethically correct group of friends or job. There are so many other ways that people can help, all they must do is look it up. The gift of the internet has been a gift to society but as well a burden.  

This class has also helped me realize how terrible and dark people can truly be. That there are some terribly greedy people out here who are not leaving anytime soon. Who plans on destroying the world to get money? Money turns people into monsters, and this has been time and time again in our own government. Even in Mexico, where nowhere is safe, where you cannot call the cops if your child is kidnapped because they don’t help, where politicians are just images by drug cartels to get them what they want, money and power. I have no faith in humanity, and this may be pessimistic, but the US is getting to that point, we are presented as a first world country but, there is so little help for people that genuinely need it here. What kind of first world country denies helping its own people? Wicked problems are here as well, in the government, where no one can really be trusted, where those people who make the rules that we must stand by are being bought up constantly and have only their own interests in mind.  

A flaw that is seen in today’s world is that people do not think about the characteristics. How one solution can be completely flawed and instead of helping, can hurt the earth. It’s a great thing, optimism, but in these cases, what is truly needed is realism. Being a realist in wicked problems is a necessity, it helps one to think about the consequences or the reality of a situation. People love to give ideas as to how the earth can be saved but often do not think about the costs. But I do believe that saving this earth for at least more years than 2050 is possible. The US has more than enough money to help the earth but rather wastes money on unnecessary items that in reality only benefit the 1%. The fact of the matter is that not enough resources are given by the government, and this means that we are alone. We are alone in the fight to save the earth, with the government signing an environmentally friendly treaty every now and then, but this is not enough. They do this every few years to look good but after the government cut us off the Paris Environment Agreement/Treaty, the level of methane is destroying our earth. NASA scientists believe we have about 10 years left, and I truly believe this. This may be extremely conspiratorial of me, but this may be the end.  

Even if this may be the reality, I am glad I was able to take this class. Meditation is a large influence of my life and has helped improve my mindfulness.  

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