Rewilding the 21st century

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Throughout human history technology has grown and evolved at a pace that is mind baffling. Human beings have existed in some form or another for about 7 million years. Most anthropologists agree that Sahalanthropus Tchadensis was the first human ancestor after our split from apes. My Geological history professor in college described this by saying “Imagine the history of the earth is a football field and one end zone is the beginning of the earth and the other end zone is now. The very first humans showed up at the 1/4″ Line.” That is the best visualization that I have been privy to. At that time, the peak of human technology, was foraging for edible bugs and plants, and hiding in trees. At roughly 3.4 million years ago there is evidence that humans were making and using fire. and at roughly 71,000 years we start to see evidence of the use of bow and arrows through stone blades found in South Africa. This is to say that at one point in time the hand drill for fire making was the pinnacle and that the bow and arrow was also, at one time the highest level of technology. For thousands of years human technology continued to improve, and with each step we evolved to be smarter, stronger, faster, and more versatile. It was this versatility that allowed humans to thrive throughout history. It is only in the last couple hundred years that technology has progressed to the point that we no longer seem to need nature. We can control our environments through air conditioning, heating, humidifiers, humidifiers, and many other creations. Now we have smart phones, so we don’t need to know anything any more, we can just look it up. When I was a child, i had to memorize every important phone number, and address. I had to remember the things that I learned in school. Now Everything that you could ever want to know is right at your finger tips.

It seems that this sort of progress would be ┬ámile stone for humanity. And, it is. We are at a point in time where depression and suicide are at all time highs. Mental health issues are the story of the day. We have millions of children on medications for mental health disorders, and cancer and obesity are running rampant. It seems to me that the reason that all of this is happening is because: Modern Human life does not work well for Humans. We have become very separated from one another and from the earth. We are lonely even though we spend all day with our “friends” on social media. Please believe that I am not decrying Smart phones or social media. Without them Future Necessities would not exist. What I am saying is that we need more. We need more connection to community, Human beings are by nature social creatures. throughout the history of our species we have always leaned on each other. In the villages of our ancestors, there were artisans making stone tools, and baskets, there were women who delivered babies, and there were hunters who fed the village. These people were not on their own, they were an integral part of their community. Everyone was needed and everyone played a role. This gave each person a sense of belonging, and a sense of self. They were connected to each other and they were connected to the earth.

Even as recently as the 1890’s average people still ha\d a very solid connection to the earth. They had spent the time to learn the plants and animals, and they had connected meaningfully to their surroundings. Even now we can see in the san bushmen of Southern Africa, such a strong connection to their place that they will act out the movements of an animal that they are tracking, leaping and pawing at the ground. For them it is simply a way to connect on an intimate enough level that they seem to know the animals thoughts before it even acts, and this is how they feed their families.

This type of connection is still possible for all of us. We can and must learn to be connected to our communities and to our wildness. We can still go to work, and play candy crush, but for our children’s and grand childrens sake. We must put forth the effort to relearn, and to rewild our lives. Take classes, play out side, sit under a tree and just watch what happens around you. There are organizations all over the country and the world that are aimed at helping people regain this connection. We do not do it to get rich, we do it out of passion. I love this world, and I love our species. It must be our goal, and our mission to strengthen our bonds to nature, and to wildness. This is how we save ourselves from mental illness, and this is how we can stop hating and killing each other. This planet is our home, Let’s show it some love. Let’s get wild…..

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teaching the human birth right

grey foxIn the past 2 years we have done a lot of growing and evolving at Future Necessities. We are working on becoming a non-profit. We have gone from a few classes a year to 2 or more a month. We have big plans for the future, including; Obtaining land to form a larger summer camp type situation, Adding some sustainability and perma-culture type classes, and Working with urban school districts to get kids from the city out into nature. It is becoming more and more obvious with each passing year that nature, and time outside is so incredibly important to the development of children. We would love to be the catalyst to getting these kids to a more meaningful connection to nature.

One of the steps that we are taking is to up our game a little bit. We have always been driven by the idea of teaching skills used by the original inhabitants of Minnesota and the upper Midwest. ┬áThis is where we live, and the skills that one might learn in California, or New Jersey may not necessarily work out here. If a person goes to any high quality wilderness skills class, they can expect to learn how to use a bow drill, or a hand drill. They may learn how to set up a tarp shelter or build a debris hut. And any number of other skills may be applied to this same line of thinking. However, we aim for a slightly higher level of intent. We want to pass on the skills that people want to learn, we want to specifically target these skills toward the changing of the seasons in the upper mid-west, and we want to connect these all through the idea of a human birth right. When the skills of friction fire and flint knapping were developed and perfected, there was no race, no religion, no cultural identity beyond simply passing on our humanity to the next generation. There is no reason in the 21st century world, that these differentiation’s need to continue taking place. we are human, and these skills belong to us. Our main goals as an organization are to keep alive the skills of our ancestors, and to use the teaching of these skills to build community, spread confidence, and to promote a healthy environment and connection to nature.

Please join us in this endeavor, spread the word, take a class, do whatever you feel is right for you. This is a time when community and confidence are waning, and need a come back. It is up to us to make sure that the earth, and our human civilization are healthier for our grand children then they were for us.