[I love the chance to share each and every Guest Post, but the opportunity to feature the writing and voice of a Fitchburg State English Studies alumnus is always extra special. Kyle Lockwood is a recent FSU graduate who has begun to move into a journalistic and professional writing career, and someone whose work and writing I highly recommend to anyone out there! He's also a veteran of our armed services, so I'm particularly proud to share his work here on Veterans Day weekend.]
Since the beginning of time man has left his home in search of something new. Early humans wandered the plains in search of food and shelter, now we spend billions of dollars in an effort to explore outer space. While our methods and efforts may have evolved, our drive and will to find new and better places has not.
The human experience is a unique concept. At our core we are not so far from those other primates with whom we share the Earth with, yet we have developed this heightened sense of consciousness. This state of awareness has allowed us to advance farther than other species and excel as a society into new living conditions. Though we each are surrounded by advanced technologies and comforts unknown before we constructed them, we have retained our most basic needs; food and shelter.
Before apartment buildings and minivans we had to build our homes from the ground up with our bare hands. Although this task is quite difficult, it is still in our core. Many of us will still prefer to sleep on our fluffy mattresses and wash in hot showers, we cannot deny the thrill and enjoyment of outdoor activity. Many of us still enjoy camping and hiking as well as hunting and fishing. This connection us humans hold tightly with the outdoors should not be considered recreational, it remains necessary to who we are as a species.
It is clear that some of these activities can be conducted alone; they are more enjoyable and effective with others, friends and family. Take hunting for example, many Americans hunt all across the United States each year. Most of them go at it alone, which against a whitetail deer or turkey is quite safe. However, our ancestors knew no such luxury. Hunting the beasts which roamed the Earth in their time was no easy task, they had no conservation land and high powered range finders. They had what they could fashion from the forests and carry in their hands. Their strength and safety was in their numbers. This element of trust is still important to us today, within tight circles of friends and family.
However, the land cannot always provide for those who occupy it. Eventually overpopulation will lead to a lack of resources. Limited supply often leads to will to leave for more. For many thousands of years humans explored on foot and by sea in search of many things. Whether it was for treasure, food, an enemy or a new home, us humans have always craved more. Although it came out of necessity for many, some explored out of boredom.
The old idea that the “grass is always greener” has convinced many humans to leave what they know for what they didn’t. Our state of consciousness seems to require a certain amount of stimulation to remain content. This stimulation used to be satisfied through hunting and tribal wars and adventure. It is a tale as old as time, the young bored man leaving home in search of adventure and excitement.
In our modern time outer space is
our last odyssey. While every man or woman may wish to feel the thrill of
adventure, the pride of survival, the glory of exploration; not all of us can
be astronauts. For most of us, our last frontier remains within us. How far can
we push ourselves in the suffocation of our own self-created environment?
[Next series starts Monday,
PS. What do you think?]