Post from the Past: Part 1 (Into the Wild)

This blog content was originally posed on April 11, 2008 on my Myspace Blog. I wanted to share.
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“I want to just live away from society, without any material things; to just exist in nature. I want the freedom to truly see the miracles around me.”

This is the concept behind Into the Wild (both the non-fiction book and the movie) and it was quoted by a 16 year old girl here in Nashville. Though I appreciate the ambition behind such a desire, this view worries me. It is a view that does not seek true balance. We must not forgot the importance of society; One can live a lifestyle emerged in nature with others; That is, one can be wild without being alone. Part of seeing the true miracles around us is seeing the miracle of human connection. Society doesn’t have to mean THIS society. In its simplest form society means a “connection between people and an organized way of living.” (At least that’s my definition).

If Christopher had just had one or two other people with him, they could have survived off one another long enough to achieve the experience they were longing for (and together, have been able to make it back home if they changed their mind). “Happiness: only real when shared with others.”

I may be more materialistic than some of my outdoor friends, but I believe I have a good balance. I love society, and economics, and systems (systems of thought, systems of laws, systems of customs) because they are what allow us to form connections with other people, and they allow us to learn from others experiences. Not every experience needs to be a completely new experience.

People that share Christopher’s view also lack an appreciation for the very society that has given them the ability to think for themselves. They have to realize that their instincts have adapted to the society they were raised in. A person sick of city life cannot survive in the wild the way a caveman did. We have evolved into a greater form of human ability, but we have lost the instincts that cavemen were born with. Humans of the past were raised and taught to kill their own meals and use nature as their tools. We were raised and taught to use electricity, silverware, microwaves, and running water. A person with those technologies available to them in their youth cannot go back in time. Instead, people with the “Into the Wild” ambition must appreciate the Yin of Nature and the Yang of society to survive. Experience both. See the miracle of nature, and share it through the miracle of human interaction.

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