Giving Up On Nomadism Could’ve Been Humanity’s Biggest Mistake

by Krishnendu K

Giving Up On Nomadism Could’ve Been Humanity’s Biggest Mistake

May 25, 2021

We often wonder, what if we never settled in one place and stuck to nomadism? What if we could pack up and leave for a new place whenever we wanted? It leaves us with a question, did humans make a mistake by giving up a nomadic lifestyle and settling?

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving

- Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher

What Is Nomadism?

Nomads are people in groups that are continuously on the move. They have no permanent settlements and maintain their livelihoods by hunting, owning livestock, and participating in direct trading. Nomadic societies have a happy-go-lucky attitude.

They leave everything they had with complete uncertainty to see more and find more things. Suppose it’s a good move, then good for them. If it isn’t, then they can move again. Nomads also care less about others and what other people do and focus on their families, animals, and possessions, which they gain by trading.

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Bedouins of the Middle East have managed to commercialize the experience of living a nomadic life

Don’t you think we could use some of that energy in today’s judgmental and societal pressure-filled times? Did we make a mistake by shifting towards permanent settlements, agricultural practices, and capitalism? Let’s just say if nomads found out there is an epidemic in their neighborhood, they would pack up and leave, maintaining their health.

Long term travel is not an act of rebellion against society; it’s an act of common sense within society

- Rolf Potts, American Travel Writer

Benefits of Nomadism

Health wise, nomads were at an advantage because by their continuous movement they allowed their bodies to accommodate more changes, environmentally and metabolically. This gave them the upper hand when it came to fighting evolutionary challenges. 

12,000 years ago once humans took up agriculture and started settling down, it led to civilisations with large populations, advancements in technology, arts and trade. But humans also began to experience malnutrition, metabolic disorders and epidemics.

Nomadic societies also never had concepts of social divisions, hierarchies and superiority. You hunt food for your family and that’s it. There is no rich man who hoards all the meat or all the crops, you do you. But cultural evolution ushered in all of this. laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. 

We could say that the existence of the injustice and weakness in humans today is because they gave up nomadic lifestyles. There wouldn’t be billionaires or corruption in a society where people feel responsible for themselves and don’t rely on others for a livelihood. There wouldn’t even have been a population explosion.

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Modern day nomadism isn't necessarily hunting and gathering. The "hippie" culture would fit the bill.

Society seems a little too complicated than necessary in these times. The more we age, the more involved we become. Try making one of your sleepless night thoughts about why power and authority in society exist. Chances are, you’ll probably want to become a nomad.

What do you think about the difference between nomadic lifestyles, and do you think it was better than the lifestyle we have created for ourselves now?

"Home is the here and now"

- Katha Upanishad


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