I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life.
~ Leo Tolstoy; Family Happiness (1859)
These were one of the many highlighted texts in Christopher Johnson McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) copy of Family Happiness. Chris, a graduate from Emory University, Georgia; didn’t wanted to live his life in security, conformism and conservatism. He wanted to live a life of adventure. Maybe embarked on a quest to discover a mythical island or dedicating his life in pursuit of a mysterious sword of some 5th century King. But, alas he was born in the late 20th century. There are no myth or mystery left untouched by the mankind. And certainly, the world has become a rather quiet, secured place where humanity rules everything – the life of an ant in Africa to predicting the volcanic eruption in some hitherto calm Japanese island. Humans now play the role of God in some instances like space exploration and it’s of course, tad boring.
A guy like Chris knows he can do well in any field of his choice be it on an expedition to Antarctica or as manager of some punk band or as an award-wining sportstar or for that matter, being the President of the United States of America. But, he hated all those jobs. He hated the money crazed society. He abhorred the idea of spending his one life working to earn to insure a better future. How about that future is cut-short by a deadly meteoric shower? Or by some nuclear war which the people in power deemed fit for world peace? Yes, these are few possibilities in which 99% of 7+ billion population has no say. We are servants…serving the purpose of society, i.e.; follow the rules. But, Humans achieved this God-like features in present world not by following but by leading. Otherwise, common people still believed we live in a flat land with Hell on bottom and Heaven above, the sun rotates around earth and all those stupid faiths which Humans not quite different from you or me proved wrong. This world belongs to adventurers, people who defies the rules not people who abides by it.
And Chris belonged to the former – he chose a nomadic life, working for people he loved, earning so that he could ventured in his odyssey and what was the result? He died. Alone and starving inside an abandoned bus in the wilderness of Alaska. See, the society won in this case. When his story first appeared in the magazine Outlook in 1993, people ragged the departed soul. They said he was stupid. “A nut ended up in trouble because he overestimated himself.” Some wrote him off saying one more dreamy half-cocked greenhorn went into the wild expecting to find answers to all his problems and instead found only mosquitoes and a lonely death. Well, you know what? People — they say. For your every action, there will be critics – who do nothing but say. Chris knew all that. He read it in his books, in the faces of thousands of lives he touched and he didn’t found one ounce of gratification in their words.
This leave me perplexed. Why is that the creator is playing these petty games with us? Why is that Humans come into life crying (as if they never wanted to come into this life of existence) and then they don’t want to die (to leave this world of existence). Is our world a beautiful one? Or just an ugly, harsh truth? There is life here. Everything grows, even the static plants who gives us (Humans) life. And we cut ’em gratingly to make our living-room look cool and stylish? I mean, with all the modern technology we have, we live a life of superficiality, a life where we have no respect to nature and all it’s constituents. We contempt and hate fellow human beings, let alone other lifeforms. I’m sick of this life of existence. Yes, there is beauty in our world but society doesn’t let us see that. It is ridiculous, I think. So did Chris. And he died. Only survived by a 224 pages book and a 148 minutes movie.