Wild Envy

Is it right to feel, while I'm driving to work one sunny seventy-degree day, a sense of envy upon seeing two Canadian geese grazing in the grass? Am I really so sick of being indoors that I feel envious of wild animals? I have all the power to change my lifestyle -- is my sense of responsibility preventing me from taking action? Surely there is more to life than sitting in front of an electronic device, moving around bits of electrons, and solving problems that, in the grand scale of things, mean absolutely nothing.

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  1. I don’t know that I can agree that the problems that are solved are meaningless. Any problem that one solves leads to the advancement of one’s capabilities, and most any technological problem has a non-technical analogue. The personal advancement that this brings is secondary to the fact that this world NEEDS people to be capable of critical thinking, and thusly the solving of these seemingly meaningless problems will hopefully help to avoid circumstances like those described in Mike Judge’s Idiocracy.

    Negligible example: we seriously don’t ever use the differential equations and number theory that we were required to learn in high school/university, but the problem solving skills derived from learning it (see what I did there?) tend to help us in our day-in, day-out to pick the next logical step … I know that it’s helped me a great deal this week whilst catsitting a friend’s half-dozen felines.

    That said, it’s perfectly reasonable to feel a degree of envy upon an experience like the one that you’ve described. Some of us have, while not forsaking our gadgets competely, become what my mentor back home described as “technomads.” We’ve traded in our high-powered devices for ultraportable, underpowered alternatives that allow us to do our thing wherever we may be when the need arises. These same devices also give us a distinct choice in the matter … they have power off buttons.

    • I thought more about this while I was camping over the weekend. (And ironically, I got the email notification about your comment when I, out of sheer habit, took my iPhone out of my bag and checked for emails. I laughed when I read the last part of your comment, standing there in the middle of the forest, and promptly powered off the phone for the remainder of the trip.) I suppose in the real “grand scale of things”, everything is meaningless. Everything will be gone one day.

      But life cannot be lived thinking everything is meaningless. I’ve thought a lot about the “meaning of life” and never really come to any solid conclusions. In the interim, I simply try to treat each and every passing moment with the utmost importance — it is the one thing I feel certain will be gone very quickly, and I figure if there is a meaning to life, the current moment is where action towards that meaning will take place. Live in the moment. That’s what I try to do. (And perhaps that’s why I feel so envious of wild animals when I’m living in the moment of the 1.5+ hr commute to work on a bright sunny day!)

  2. Raam looks out the window on his commute dreaming…. “I wish I was that bird” as the bird slams into a window of his vehicle…. 🙁

    But I know the feeling. It was nice when Mai was laid-off for a month. I spent less time infront of the computer after work.

    Then again, outside or inside activities for DJT means trouble – computer is DJT safety area.

      • 😳 DJT will not answer that question….. 🙁

        Last night was good tho…. NO computer 😀 Instead I cleaned the fish tank and it went very well, no problems… which is a first.