“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
– Chief Seattle
I watched an amazing TED Talk by an amazing man by the name of Jimmy Nelson. It was about the beautiful and amazing people he had met (ok that’s ‘amazing 3 times already), while on his travels across 44 countries to meet with and photograph thirty-five of the world’s last indigenous tribes.
Watch the talk. I fully recommend it.
It got me thinking about ancient tribes: who they were; what they did; and how they lived.
One word kept coming back into my mind: ‘Connection’.
They are connected with nature. They live in nature. They are surrounded by nature. And they live in harmony with nature.
Their family units are strong and connected. Mom, Dad, Kids, Gand-Ma’s and Grand-Pa’s all seem to live together. They are around each other all day, every day (except perhaps when illness strikes or its time for hunting).
They are connected as a community. Everyone seems to know everyone else. They all work together and support each other. It seems they must, in order to survive. They seem to ‘have each other’s back’ and watch over each other as a community. It’s their way of life.
They are connected.
I can’t help but think that how they are is much closer to what we humans are meant to be – our true and natural nature – than the fast-paced, complicated, stressful and sometimes altogether dysfunctional societies that we in the so-called ‘civilised world’ inhabit.
That made me think about my own life.
My wife is away at work right now and we are effectively many miles apart.
I haven’t spoken to my brother or my sister or some of my closest friends in weeks.
I have not been outside in the fresh air for today (and it’s nearly noon at the time of writing).
I don’t feel very connected.
I have an all singing all dancing phone and a state of the art computer with fibre-optic broadband, but I feel disconnected – from myself and from the rest of the Universe.
I won’t deny that I love and enjoy a lot of the things that modern society has to offer. I am also not sure I could go back to a hunter-gatherer, nomadic life, living in a tent with a whole bunch of other people. Then there’s personal freedom, which is a huge deal to me.
In the end, I don’t think that I can (or want to) hold one way of life as being better than the other. I guess it all boils down to personal choice and what we each want from life. But from where I am standing, I realise that we have a wonderful opportunity to learn from the ways of others and incorporate the very best that each way of life has to offer. Finding the balance that works best for us seems to be the key to it all.
It’s time to go and reconnect.