We admire animals for their mindfulness, ingenuity, bravery, and resilience, yet we fail to find these qualities in our own lives. Instead, we feel increasingly trapped, tamed, and domesticated. We even associate the word “wild” with illogical or risky behavior. But wild animals don’t pointlessly stress, hate, lust, kill, or lament. They aren’t caught up in the past or distracted by the future. They live in ways that directly address their psychological needs, which we, as humans, too often fail to meet. We needlessly suffer because we’ve forgotten the simple things that make us happy. Fortunately, we each have the power to change – to return to the wild.Presence, connection, adventure, and freedom are four qualities that are abundant in nature yet somehow lost to us. We replace quality time with instant messages, substitute friendship with followers, forgo adventure for comfort, and sacrifice freedom for stuffy offices. Through parallels with the animal kingdom, Feral encourages us to reflect on these qualities in our lives so we can regain our lost feelings of joy and fulfillment. Shrivastava, an expert in the field of conflict resolution, draws on his unique cultural experiences to present a fresh perspective on the ways we live (or fail to). A story told through a mix of parables, personal antidotes, and social science, Feral clears the path to what’s always been at the center of our desires: Happiness.
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Kyle Cooper Shrivastava is a peace builder on the Global Initiatives Team at PartnersGlobal where he helps implement projects to improve the resiliency of global civil society. He is also a co-founder of R3SOLUTE, a Berlin-based non-profit that teaches conflict resolution and peer mediation skills to refugees. He received his M.S. in conflict resolution from Columbia University, and has served with the Peace Corps in both Senegal and Liberia. He currently lives with his girlfriend in Washington D.C.