Cambridge’s A.L. Dictionary defines the word ‘wander’ as:
- to walk around slowly in a relaxed way or without any clear purpose or direction;
If you stop to think about, much of our lives is spent on wandering around. We are born into this world without a clear purpose, with no guidelines, and without truly knowing ourselves. That can only lead to much time spent trying to find our path, and hence, wander.
And I don’t just mean to wander physically, or from job to job, but also wander in our way of thinking. How many times we change our minds about something, only to change it back again some time later.
Have you ever felt that strange desire to just leave your ordinary life, your steady-pace and run into the wilderness or live from place to place?
I believe that, to some people more than others, there is still a residual urge from our nomadic past that runs very deep. I’d go as far as saying that it’s the reason why they never seem to find a place, and prevents them from bringing their lives into a focus.
Drifting from one job to the next, focusing on today’s assignment, dispersing one’s energy rather than having a single long term goal are all traits of people who are bound to wander the rest of their lives. Somewhere along the line society stepped on the right of these people to exist as they were.
And there is the danger of not realizing in time that one is drifting too much. This leads to poorly conducted lifes, often with suffering as an end result.
But that doess’t necessarily mean a bad thing. It’s more often a compromise between how one’s dream about his life and how it actually flows. You can’t judge a person’s life based on how aimless it was, as some remarkable life experiences come exactly from wandering around.
As J.R.R Tolkien beautifully wrote in this much tatooed sentence:
Not all those who wander are lost;
The apparent contradiction of these words in fact reveal this truth. To not seek a particular goal can be a goal on itself. There is a fine line between wandering to explore the world and it’s things, and wondering without any purpose – to be simply lost.
[IMAGE: Mt. Cook in New Zealand, image source]