I read this awesome quote yesterday. I have been thinking of it ever since.
It was written by Richard Kool, an ethnographer. He was describing some Indian tribes of British Colombia, Canada.
“The Shushwap region was and is considered by the Indian people to be a rich place: rich in salmon and game, rich in below-ground food resources such as tubers and roots—a plentiful land. In this region, the people would live in permanent village sites and exploit the environs for needed resources. They had elaborate technologies for very effectively using the resources of the environment, and perceived their lives as being good and rich. Yet, the elders said, at times the world becomes too predictable and the challenge began to go out of life. Without challenge, life had no meaning.
So the elders, in their wisdom, would decide that the entire village should move, those moves occurring every 25 to 30 years. The entire population would move to a different part of the Shushwap land and there, they found challenge. There were new streams to figure out, new game trails to learn, new areas where the balsamroot would be plentiful. Now life would regain its meaning and be worth living. Everyone would feel rejuvenated and healthy.”
Sometimes we make the mistake of calling past and current tribes primitive. They may be primitive because they don’t know how to operate a smart phone. But in reading this account of the people in Shushwap I thought that we are the primitive ones.
Maybe it is time that we pack up and move to a new location. I don’t mean geographically necessarily. I think I mean to move out of the Hobbit hole that many of us like to be in. Or the comfort zone which we call it nowadays.
“At times the world becomes too predictable and the challenge began to go out of life. Without challenge, life had no meaning.”