By Hussain Ali
After graduating in social sciences with a distinction and a solid professional experience of three years at well reputed institutions, somehow I have started to envy the life of a shepherd and I wish I could get myself loose from all the shackles of society and rush back to the wild like an animal that is released in to the wild after prolonged captivity. Though this lame idea is strange but honestly true and I have found it prevalent in many young women and men around me these days.
When I was young and naughty like many other children, my mother used to tell me that if I did not complete my homework or study well, I will end up becoming a shepherd. That’s why I despised this word and sometimes completed my homework hoping I won’t end up becoming one. Ironically I studied well and gradually my chances of becoming a shepherd become almost none.
As I grew up, this word got ingrained in to my sub conscious so deep that I myself could not resist this word and often used it as a stigma. When someone dressed, ate or behaved in a silly manner my subconscious blurted out this word instantly.
As days turned into months and months turned to years, I graduated from university and got offered a job at an NGO. The first couple of months seemed like a heaven as I boasted of a well salaried job while showing off many a times of my success but later with passage of time, it revealed to me that it was I who had been incarcerated to a screen on a chair peeking into the screen. This routine got so mundane and boring that one day I decided to talk to myself through it, as what had actually gone wrong for as I can remember I had worked hard for an employment that most people would dream of but still something was missing.
Every time I came from office my mind would be full of shit literally. Imagine doing the same things over and over again 8 hours a day like a robot and portraying to the outside world that you are living a dream. Anyhow speaking of the shepherd anomaly that I mentioned above, one day I sat on my sofa when this persona of a shepherd popped up in my mind from nowhere. It slowly let me step into his shoes and explore the sheer wilderness of the mountains and meadows he witnessed, inhaling fresh mountain breeze, lost amidst the charm of the mighty mountains with a pair of binoculars and a rifle hanging from his shoulders.
It got known to me instantly that he was not enslaved by a screen nor had a boss to worry about; he roamed the wilderness freely while we sipped filthy tea and gazed at our screens like zombies.
It gave me chills down the spine and truly speaking now wished I was a shepherd away in wilderness and far away from people entangled in webs of dreams, deluded by false short lived greedy desires of life. As much as I despised the word shepherd, I have become fond of this wild noun now.
For the first and not the last time I envied the life of a shepherd and not a table job, blindly pursuing dreams for amassing wealth. The real wealth is in the serenity of the wilderness.
My own house is located near by a mountain and whenever my mind gets disillusioned by social burdensome mores, I turn my face to the mountains and head in to the realm of the mountains where I can discover myself. Indeed nature is a man’s redemption from chaos and it is where men and women will thrive happily.
Today with the advent of modern technology and industrialization we all have somehow raised our living standards though our pursuit of modernization has lagged us behind in respecting nature or conserving it in broader terms. We have polluted this world to such an extent that many species of animals have become extinct or are at the brink of disappearing from the face of this earth. Forest clearing, poaching, habitat loss and global carbon emissions have wrecked enough devastation already. The turn of human extinction will soon follow suit, if no sincere and honest steps are embarked upon.
Nonetheless the world is changing and so do we need to adapt according to the situations. Becoming a shepherd is no more an option but we can re-establish our broken relations with nature. We all seem not to realize how important it is to be close to nature therefore please don’t reserve your weekend holidays for pending chores rather plan a trip to a place away from cell phone signals. Pack some gear and move out in to the heart of nature with your loved ones-discover your broken linkage. Jazz up a party with a Bar b q and chill out with pals till all the smog of daily routines clears away from your minds and finally please don’t pollute the area with litter. We have made our lives into a robot that is programed to repeat work from 9 am to 5 pm 5 days a week.
The sound of rain or raging voice of a stream, no matter how loud strikes the chords of our mind that induces us in to a coma of quietude but on contrary a single beep of a machine may turn one in to a bipolar. Establish your broken past with the nature and re-experience the charm of life once again.