Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Into own's heart...to realize survival involves others

I watched Into The Wild, a true account adapted to book and film about Christopher McCandless, an intrepid civilization-forsaking 23yo who hiked into Alaska and (inadvertently or not) never to return.

The show portrays his wanders first south then north for his ultimate goal of Alaska in his bid and, very sadly, his failed attempt to survive and exit the wild. More poignant are his thoughts and universalist outlook on life and society, and the odd lives and friendships he comes into contact with.

My observations through the show:

Chris's getting away from family--even gave himself a new name and identity--caused them grief and pain, yet his parents' fraught marriage also pained his life in deep ways. That's why he wanted to get away.

Can you and I or anyone really just abandon one's present identity and obligations and start anew elsewhere? Isn't that simply running away without dealing with the situation? Perhaps it is in venturing out that some discover their identity.
It seems he realizes in the end, from reading Tolstoy and own realization, that he can't live alone and happiness includes being with others. Initially he ditched his name and identity (white, middle-class, college graduate), but still remembers his family and his own christened name.

Family matters. To you, and you to them.

If he had been able to get wilderness survival tips, whether from someone physically with him or from the Internet, he might have made it out alive. But how long can one really survive on wild game (vitamins?), books (bored?) and nature (no one to share thoughts and feelings with)?

Such a nomad, live-off-the-land lifestyle is definitely not imaginable for city dwellers who are used to modern pleasures of food, entertainment, possessions etc. and career, money and aspirational wants.

Afternote thought: If Chris was alive today, would he have kept his social media accounts or would he have deleted and eschewed them totally? Since "happiness is not real until shared."

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