Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2010/06/10

Balanced Survival

Yosemite Valley is one of the most unique places in the world. I have discovered a small community of rock scrambling monkeys, surrounded by immaculate granite formations, supported by a constant influx of international tourists. I feel at home. Monkeys value a lifestyle of constantly moving, waking up early, pushing one’s self limits, taking advantage of opportunity, living in every moment to its max capacity, and charging life on full blast while recognizing that the time is now because tomorrow may never come. Living as a monkey I am able to support my moral values of environmentalism. In the past few years I have been struggling with the thought that humans, as a species, are reproducing at an expediential rate. Worldwide we are facing an overpopulation problem. Planet earth has limited number of niches to support a limited number of species. Overpopulation disrupts the delicate balance of life. Any addition to the world wide population needs to tap into the limited supply of fundamental resources (food, water, and shelter), thus increasing the intensity of the competition for those fundamental resources. In the first world often times the definition of fundamental resource is slightly different. It usually includes things like a car, gas, house, and television. By overpopulating, we produce competition which often leads to exploitation of resources and cultures. This is a moral issue with a fundamental root in overpopulation. On the other hand one could argue that competition is a positive quality which allows nature to self balance by way of natural selection which selects for the traits favorable for survival in an environment.  Personally I believe both opinions are true. I have found an individual solution to this contradicting personal moral dilemma in the monkey lifestyle. Living in Yosemite Valley I am able to live in what I call “Balanced Survival.” By living out of my car, riding my bike every day, and only taking from the world what I need to survive, I am able to reduce my environmental footprint to a minimum and live true to my low impact values, thus creating opportunity and niches for others, while at the same time living for myself and insuring my own survival.


  1. You certainly are living in the moment. A fine budda you are becoming.

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