Life in a Sprawl

Humans are creatures of commodity. Every other morning you will find me waking up, eyes opening to my smartphone blasting tunes into my ears, taking machine-processed food out of a can to feed my heavily domesticated feline friends, removing oil and dirt from my skin with electrically-heated water, then heading out on my most likely Chinese-made track bicycle to work, where I move around an office space in a brick building between my dual monitor setup and that of the people I need to talk to. Every single piece of equipment or part that I interact with throughout the day has been created to make any given task I perform with them much easier.

These are not notions I consider on a regular basis, and probably the only reason why I am even so much as thinking about them is because I spent 2 weeks disconnected from most of these: Walking around the woods with nothing but my weight [and a few commodities] to carry. Most animals I encountered, on the other hand, live off of whatever they can reap from nature and from their own wits.

Humans or, at the very least, your average human cannot do such a thing. We live and run on such outdated and insipid artificial instincts that outside of an urban sprawl we are mostly helpless and oddly vulnerable.

Often I wish a bigger part of me yearned for adventure outside of comfort more often. I wish my instincts were wilder to allow me to survive without all these conceptions that someone else built to make sure I did not have to use my instinct in the first place. I wish I had a switch between comfortable and instinct driven to drive me around…

Except I do.

Even after spending most of my days in an office space or similarly writing or browsing the web from home, my body never forgets to adapt to the circumstances when comfort is not the norm, and when I do not have to rely on the artificial sense of safety that mankind has imposed on itself. When these comforts are removed, the mind often knows what to do — provided that it has done it at least once before — and instinct kicks in.

All this lead me to a realization of an important, at the very least to me, part of life that I need to work in: Fine tuning my skills and instincts in a world where commodities are out of reach. By 4 men and 2 women I was raised to have a good baseline of skills to be able to improvise in my day-to-day life, and a little out in the open, yet now that I have a partner who loves wilderness and the unknown, I wonder to myself why it is not <em>more of a thing</em> to encourage people in a society to embrace their instincts and force themselves out of the comfort zone that is civilization more often.

Perhaps one day, when society is less profit driven and more morale oriented. For now, I myself will look for the instincts that I need.

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