We spend a lot of time outside of the present. We preoccupy ourselves with future assignments, with issues to be resolved, with plans to be made. It’s natural. Planning ahead theoretically allows us to enjoy the future more when it becomes the present, as we are more prepared for what is to come. By worrying about the problems we have today, we can search for solutions so that they are gone by tomorrow. But in an increasingly busy world, when does the future ever become the present? Have we settled into a continuous journey towards some unreachable destination?
In The Journey of Ibn Fattouma, Qindil is dissatisfied with the condition of his society, and sets out to explore the world in search of an example that might solve his society’s issues. This idealism and search for paradise is intrinsic in all our identities. For this particular project, I chose the spot in the world that I consider my paradise; it lies on the Camino de Santiago, a walk across Northern Spain that I did after my junior year. However, I found this place not by searching, necessarily; rather, I stumbled upon it with friends. Personally, I believe that while this determination to find paradise drives us and makes us human, it rarely results in an organic solution that satisfies all members in society. However, it is essential to remember that each society and community in the world has its own nuances and culture, and as a result, the best solution to any societal issue is one that is found through communication and discussion within that society.
This view is fairly unrealistic in our world today. I am not advocating the complete originality of every societal decision. If that were enforced, then democracy would not have spread further than a single country, and most countries would be wrapped in chaos due to the lack of original responses. Copying often is the perfect solution. But I still feel that it’s important to recognize the individuality of each society; each community in the world will respond differently to different systems and policies, and while searching is important, and can lead to the discovery of places like the one that I found in this creative response, the best response can often be found on one’s own.