A few years back I was in the grasslands of Serengeti national park (Tanzania) and the experience was an epiphany of sorts. Among other learning experiences, there was one that stood out. I was observing a pride of lions very closely. The pride had a lion, a majority of lionesses and a few cubs. The lioness is culpable for hunting and raising the cubs. The lions are usually dominating protectors of the family, which pretty much sums up their role. No wonder most Punjabi men like to be called lions.
An interesting fact about a lion’s life span is that it easily survives 12-14 years in the wild and is eventually replaced by a younger one or dies as hunting becomes a backbreaking job. However the same lion when held captive in a zoo can live for almost 20 years. The reason being, they don’t have to struggle for food.
I wonder what’s better. Living in the wild or in captivity! Now if the primary purpose of life is survival, then aren’t the ones in captivity better off?
Are we humans also caught in the same paradox? Do we also have our natural wild side and a captive, adapted side? Are we the wild lions or the ones held captive?
I know people who used to be rock stars and natural leaders full of conviction; they have now been reduced to a mere shadow of their erstwhile charm. They have the whole kit and caboodle success, wealth and a thriving career, yet something is amiss.
I guess the spirit is missing.They have become caged lions in a zoo. But aren’t we all caught our own zoos? Complete with cages formed by our girlfriends, spouse, children, parents, bosses or society.
Sure we will have a long and comfortable life! But is it worth losing our innate spirit ?