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6 Things You Should Never Forget About The Movie ‘Into The Wild’

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By Kirti Joshi: 

In the movie, Into the wild (2007), Christopher McCandless’s story is perhaps one of the greatest episodes of tragic heroism. It is the perfect example of hamartia. A brilliant young intellectual and a wanderer soul, a free human who definitely lived a life that was less ordinary. Some say that he paid the gravest price for the love of adventure and solitude but I would argue that he lived a life the way he chose it to be. We are never ready to unplug ourselves from the secure world and what if my ignorance for the ‘perfect life’ is just as good as your intellectual fallacious persuaded ‘prefect life’. So, here are the six things I learnt from this brilliant movie:

Never give up your dreams

intothewild
Chris’s dream was always unwavering. There are always millions of reasons for us to give up but always keep your goal in sight and if you fail, try harder to achieve your dream. Never compromise to take a stress-free path just because it is the easiest path right now. In the movie, he says that the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong… in life it is not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. He did what his heart told him to do and he was able to find his strength. If you take the harder path to your goal, in the end you will realise that the struggles were all just a part of the journey and are worth it for what you have achieved.

Materialistic things are just ‘things’

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Christopher realized that material objects weren’t for him. In the movie, his mom and dad want to give him a new ‘fancy’ car and they demand him to leave the junkie but he argues that he does not want a new one. He asked them if they were worried of what the neighbours might think of the old car; he says I don’t want these ‘things’. We are always told that newer and better material possessions will make you happy and satisfied but these properties will never be stylish enough to compete with the hunger for more. Possessions can never love you back because there’s always a more stylish wardrobe or a more sought after car waiting to be launched. Real happiness rarely lies in the bottom of luxury bags. We will feel secure if we place less value on possessions as a means of happiness.

Always be generous

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Have you ever thought what would have happened to Christopher McCandless if all those people whom he met during the voyage were not generous enough to help him? Definitely, he would not have had such a fruitful experience; he was able to survive because of the generosity of other people. Especially the open-handedness of the old- man who invited Chris to his house even though he was a complete stranger. The old man was also able to gain from Chris as Chris managed to convince him to give up the monotonous life and take up adventure.

Don’t bother what the society will think about you

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We decode the practices by others not simply as they are, but rather we will always see them as we are. Whatever your ideology or system of beliefs are, they will never ever be accepted by everybody, there will always be too much conflict for your liking. In the movie, Carine McCandless tells that Chris had spent four years fulfilling the absurd and tedious duties, the things that cut Chris off from the truth of his existence. If McCandless had listened to the opinions of others he would never have had a life of solitude and peace with nature. Never allow the opinions and negativity of others to control you and your actions.

Find your company in books

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If you don’t have people around you doesn’t mean you have no company. You can find absolute happiness with books and they can be never failing friends. They give you some place to go when you are supposed to go where you are. In the movie, Chris says that he risked what could have been a relentlessly lonely path, but found company in the characters of the books he loved from writers like Tolstoy, Jack London and Thoreau. He could summon their words to suit any occasion, and he often would. We can substitute relationship with books and it can be extremely satisfactory.

Challenge the rules

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We live where everybody says that somebody should do it, anybody could have done it but nobody does it because from the inside we know that If we challenge the accepted game of life we will not be sheltered by the consequences of such a hazardous existence. We must lose our inclination for monotonous security. We all have created an invisible circle around us and we never want to step outside it because of the unexpected consequences it may lead to, we are so hallucinated by the idea of a ‘perfect life’ that we will lead inside this circle and we are accustomed to a life of such security, conformity, and protection, all of which may appear to give one peace, but in reality nothing is more damaging than killing all the ideas. People are often bound by the chains of society and it is admirable when one can break free from the day to day “social norm” and do what their heart desires, not what is deemed as acceptable and this is what Christopher did.

McCandless is not that different from many of us, he just took more courageous steps on his journey. Many will find it easy to criticize Christopher McCandless’s story. It’s easy to call him an idiot for the track he chose and I think that makes him all the more worthy because he lived the life he always wanted to live. I believe that Christopher McCandless may have had a short life, but he had a fulfilled one.

If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, the possibility of life is destroyed. – Into the wild

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  1. Siddhartha Malempati

    And at the end he realizes, happiness is in sharing with society but not staying away from it.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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