Being human, and the price of a solitary life

"Just you and the wind. And the time just melts away."

I think whats so tricky sometimes talking about the lookout experience is your not talking to anybody about it. You more intuit it, you more experience it. . . you just find yourself sitting on the porch watching the world go by.


This video, this lifestyle, is radically intriguing to me - especially during times such as these. Life on mountain tops, rising with the sun, seems so simple, so beautiful, and so much more lovely, wrestling with the wind and rain and dooming snow, rather than with the ugliness of mankind. 

But it also seems so unbelievable selfish, lonely, and ultimately, unsatisfying. Because even though the mountains have a way, they can't teach us what it means to be human. 

Chris McCandless gave his life to pursue a life of solitude, only to find that "happiness is only real when shared" and I think that's true. But it's also incomplete. 

Because humans are meant for so much more.

The 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate, Jean Vanier, speaks on the Big Question: "What does it mean to be fully human?"

 : I'm a member of the huge human family :
 . . . To discover who I am is also to discover a unity between my head and my heart. The head we are called to grow, to understand, and to work through things. But the heart is something else. It is about concern by others. We are born into a relationship. And that relationship that we all lived is a relationship with our mom. We were so small. So weak. So fragile. And we heard the words which are the most important, and maybe the words we need to hear all our life: I love you as you are. You are my beloved son or my beloved daughter. And this is what gives consistency to people. They know they are loved. And that's what they're seeking, maybe for the rest of their lives . . .
The problem today is that many people are filled with fear. They are frightened of people, frightened of losing. And because people are filled with fear they can no longer be open to others. They're protecting themselves, protecting their class, protecting their group, protecting their religion. We're all in a state of protection (seeking isolation). To become fully human is to let down the barriers, to open up. And to discover that every person is beautiful. Under all the jobs they're doing, their responsibilities, there is you. And you, at the heart of who you are, you're somebody also crying out, "Does somebody love me not just for what I can do, but for who I am?"
So to be fully human is the development of the heart and the head, and then we can become one. One inside of us. Becoming one inside of us we can little by little let down the ego, the need to prove that I am better than you. And then I can begin to see in other people, other groups, other religions, other cultures, that people are wonderful. And then we can come and we can work for peace together.

Often, living a life of isolation is easier than dealing with who we are - fully fallible human beings. But living in isolation also robs us of the best of what life can offer: forgiveness, love, and the complete acceptance of who we are. Like family.

Something the wind, the porch, and the mountains can never be.

To be human is to be known, to share happiness and tragedy with those we love, and to sit together, hand in hand, as the world quickly and beautifully passes by.


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Simple Living  :  Humanity  :  Why Chris Mccandless must die