While running along a less well-trodden path near the start of the tree-top walk which joins to the Bukit Timah nature reserve trail, it dawned on me that I was kind of enacting a modern version “hunter-gatherer” type of life, for large portions of my time!
As in, running around in the early morning like ancient hunter-gatherers, gathering images using my handphone camera during the run (but not always being “successful” in finding nice scenes to capture) and throwing sticks and stones if a wild boar should suddenly appear in my path. This is the first parallel. The second parallel is that hunter-gatherers spend most of their time in small groups, comprising mainly family members, and do not work in/for large organisations (a much more recent development in human history, resulting from the agricultural revolution 12 000 yrs ago and “progressing” to the corporations of today) – yup, that’s me as well, being around the house after morning runs, when the kids come back from school, living with in-laws, occasionally going to do “paid-work” (this is like a successful hunt, for it settles pocket money for the kids for a while, and some expenses).
Yet another parallel are the (cave) “paintings” on my wall – apparently, the ancient hunter gatherers had time to leave behind these works of art, because they were NOT spending most of their time working (for someone else i.e. being an employee). According to the prof (Coursera: A Brief History of Humankind), the agricultural revolution, and more modern developments in human civilisation (e.g. industrial revolution) did NOT make life better for MOST people, compared to hunter-gatherer times, if we look at “work-life balance”, for example. As another aspect of not being better off: in modern life, people sit way too much, leading to all kinds of back problems, while apparently, the human body was adapted for moving (as in, running/walking/climbing, to look for food, hunt, and to stay away from predators).
But I must be careful not to romanticize the “hunter-gatherer” life too much; it works these few months for me because of “capital” I have accumulated (i.e. some skills and shares), and the spouse’s support MOST importantly! 😛