From Personal Realization Comes Personal Expression

The practice of cultivating self-awareness is a challenge that exists in all facets of life. In the study of world food politics, it is a practice which is vital to understanding various problems which plague our world. In our class, we have focused on a range of contemplative practices. These specific reflections have created a space which has allowed for students, like me, to critically think about all of these issues and work to find the connections between them. Unfortunately, in society, our systems of learning do not typically create the space for this type of reflection.

Through personal realization comes personal expression, and that is where the most original growth and ideas stem from. Without these contemplative practices, it would be challenging to find the connections which have allowed us to understand concepts from a new perspective. My own personal growth through this process has been from finding connections between food and racial systems, a link which I did not know existed. Furthermore, these processes of realization have led me to understand the toxic relationship between developing nations and trade liberalization, which seems to mirror the destructive link between slavery and modern capitalism. While the free trade agenda has systematically challenged the domestic economies of developing nations, the modern capitalistic agenda of the United States has systematically been built on the backs of slaves.

These are just a few of the ideas which I was able to develop from deep reflection. This type of thinking allows us to make connections between ideas that we never knew existed. Without contemplative practices and deep thinking, we would not be able to analyze arising relationships because they are connections which are not apparent to all. These are concepts and theories which can only come through reflection.

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