Lessons my llama taught me.
Hiking Machu Picchu was the hardest physical challenge of my life. I hadn’t been exercising as much as I should have, I didn’t let my body acclimate to the change in atmospheric pressure, I wasn’t properly hydrated, and I didn’t bring sunscreen, resulting in the worst sunburn of my life.
But amidst all of this, I accomplished something. Something grand. Something bigger than ascending one of the 7 wonders of the world. SOMETHING FUCKING AMAZING THAT OTHERS CAN’T SAY!
I saw a llama.
In fact, I saw many walking furbags. They wander around with their own nametag. This reminded me of Japan when I went to Iwatayama monkey park and got to see all the monkeys just hanging around at the top of the hill (What is it with a bunch of animals being at the top of some kind of hill/mountain?)
While gazing lovingly at the llamas, I began to realize that humans are such complicated creatures. We live by our various ethics and morals, which is perhaps the biggest difference between us and the animal kingdom. Tigers don’t feel guilty about eating antelope because that’s just what they gotta do! Squirrels don’t have a retirement plan to save for! Hamsters don’t need to save an extra 15% on car insurance by switching to Geico. Caterpillars don’t have student loans! WHY ARE HUMANS SO PLAGUED WITH PROBLEMS!?
And all these cognitive thoughts and epiphanies about the human condition came about because many people were crowding and hyping up these fuzzy llamas who were just either laying there, grazing on grass, or even dropping little black jelly beans of poop everywhere. And I’m going to coin this as the basic animal condition, where they just live as they’re meant to. This brings me to wonder the pressing question: What is the human condition?
Majority of us here are institutionalized into this system of go to school, get a job, get money from that job to pay off the school/bills/life, attain some basic memories, then die. But as living beings what is our condition? What makes us function? Why do I exist?
And I firmly believe it’s memories and feelings. Everything we do, is for how we feel, because we want to feel good. We want to feel amazing whether it be by having loving friends that are there for you, eating food that makes you salivate, share the hottest sex ever with that one damn person you’ve lusted over, or whatever really gets your gears shifting. Everything we do is to feel great before we’re just fertilizer in the ground.
We just want to be fulfilled, and the best for that is to invest in experiences, as many studies have shown.
When I remember those llamas, sometimes I wonder if they’re happy, or sad, or just in any state of emotion. It makes me wonder if they ever seek fulfillment like we do, or if their lives are just instinctively lived out. Animals must have feelings, but feelings to them are just phases of being. Animals just live and don’t think about living, compared to almost every human I know thinking about how they should live and how they can go about making their life work a certain way which just feels so rushed and complicated. And that’s something I carry with me to this day thinking as I work through the mundane cycle of work, sleep, life, and repeat.
I learned that I want to be just like one of those llamas: worshiped for just existing. Oh wait, then I’d be a Kardashian. Damn.