There must be a reason why we are so connected?
We can watch each other’s stories in real time, travel with each other to all the destinations of the world through sharing photos, we can get in touch with each other through instant messages or hear the voice of our loved ones from a tap on the screen.
But for what? To share the outfits we wear, the food we ate, the parties we went to or what we think of people in suits trying to rule the world without even knowing what the world is?
We are more connected through technology than we have ever been. But at the same time we are more disconnected than we have ever been.
I know a place called Earth. Do you know it?
Like a rolling stone
On earth, there are people like me, people that desperately search for a home, so that they can tell someone their address. But after the driveway is built, the windows are installed and the roof is thatched. What happens then? We still don’t feel at home.
But we have become comfortable enough to tell people that they should stop moving, that they should stay in one place. We have become comfortable enough to tell the first people that we have the first priority to land.
And in the process of all of this we forget our true home. That home is called earth. But no one treats it like home. We leave our dishes, our trash and all our crap resting at the front door.
Ghandi once said that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. But what can we do for animals or pollution, war and destruction if we don’t recognise that we are nature?
Where the wild things are
Animals have become our entertainment, trees have become our furniture and houses, the sea has become our dumping ground and indigenous people have become our new zoo animals. The ones we go to watch when we want to pretend to feel more connected.
I have worked with the Ju/´hoansi bushmen in Namibia for more than seven years. I have tried to tell their story. I have tried to rebuild what has been torn down, to inspire the world with their way of seeing it. But I have also been scared to face what is actually happening.
You see, they are becoming a story, and maybe soon even history. Because the Trojan horse of modernity has moved in and it has happened fast. It moved into villages with our sugar, our money, our systems of rule, our diseases, our alcohol and our weapons.
But worst of all; what we spread the fastest is the illusion of a better world. But in this better world there are so many people gasping for air, trying to impress, follow the rules, party to forget.
Is this earth? Is this where we are living? Is this where we want to live?
Sustainability is not about saving ONE elephant, or ONE rhino, or ONE village, or solve hunger with crisis management. Because the problems do not lie there.
The real hunger is in us. It’s an emptiness so grand that no aid organization can do anything about it. But you and I, the individuals, can.
I am Aleksandra. I live on earth.
I came to Namibia after many years of modelling in Paris and NYC. I started working with wildlife, crisis management, saving single species. Only to realize that I was only conserving and sustaining my Africa ego, not the environment. I was still separate from Nature.
In search for a new purpose I met the San people, and they saved me from my poverty of perception. They opened my eyes and heart to becoming one with Nature. But I had a long way to go, because there are so many limitations in me as a living creature. Like most people, I have created a Sigma machine full of codes, which maintains old software full of viruses.
Most of the time I would walk around as a victim of the past, and a prisoner of the future. I would tell myself every day that I don’t know what to do with my life, or why I’m here.
But when I finally stopped pointing at ‘out there’, and turned it around, I started working with what was already ‘in here’, in me.
Then I realized that I am Nature. I am here to contribute, nurture and learn.
I’m not here to please the voices on the outside, but to listen to the voice on the inside.
We are people and we live on earth!
In our hearts we know our purpose. When we allow time to stop for a while, we realize that we have a responsibility.
We notice the significance of small things. We become aware of the fact that we too are “small things”, and that we can only build big if we work together.
Let’s rewild and reconnect. I promise you it’s a stronger connection.
Aleksandra Ørbeck-Nilssen (known by the Bushmen name N/aisa) has traveled the world and worked as a model from the age of 14. When she was 19, she moved to Namibia to work with wildlife. A few years later Aleksandra became a family member of The Ju’/hoansi Bushmen and works with them through her non-profit organization Nanofasa to conserve the last wilderness of Namibia. She is also a documentary presenter, scriptwriter, actress, influencer, yoga instructor and tracker. Follow Aleksandra on Instagram and Nanofasa on Facebook!