The Importance of Being Wild: A Short History of Wild Things

in #life3 years ago

Wild Horses.jpg

Where do the wild things live? In life and imagination. Calling something “wild” can mean it persists in a natural state (as with wild tigers, wild salmon, or untamed wilderness). But when someone describes a person or practice as “wild”, that can be a term of judgment. A wild person is someone who might be a bit crazy, unfettered or uncultured, living life on the edge or pushing boundaries. In short, that person is a non-conformist who is somewhat out of step with (someone else's) expectations.

“Wild” comes from the Old English word “wilde”. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, “wilde” has Germanic origins: welt, *wold,” and “woodlands” may be some related words. Its most basic definition is: “in the natural state, uncultivated, untamed, undomesticated, and uncontrolled.”

But as early as the 13th century, there is a reference for “wilde” meaning “sexually dissolute, loose” and in the 15th century, “distracted with emotion or excitement, crazy.” In 1867, when the game of baseball was still young, there is a historical reference to a “wild pitch” – a term we still use today to describe a ball that is thrown, shall we say, just a bit outside, inside, or off the plate. Terms like “wild dreams” and “running wild” came into being as the word and its meanings developed.

The Importance of Being Wild

It’s okay to be wild and non-conformist, or “wilde” in the old English spelling. How else to we test ourselves and learn about our place in the world? When I see the word “wilde,” that screams out “Oscar Wilde”! So let’s see what that great non-conformist author and playwright had to say about the wild side of life.

dorian gray.jpg
From the 2009 Dorian Gray movie. Credit: Momentum Pictures.

From a certain perspective, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde’s only novel, is all about the importance of being wild. The main character has a fixation with maintaining his own youth and beauty. He wants to experience many sins and pleasures of life. And only by doing so does he learn, in the end, who he is.

As Wilde wrote in the novel, “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.” And in another oft-quoted gem: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.”

By the way, The Picture of Dorian Gray was censored when it was first published because some saw it as indecent and immoral. Wild Things always push the boundaries. And Oscar Wilde knew this better than anyone.

More Wild Things in Books


A wild party is a good time, even if it’s in a kid’s book. In 1963, author and illustrator Maurice Sendak wrote Where the Wild Things Are, a beloved children’s book about a boy’s journey through the world of his imagination. At the beginning of the book, he was banished to his room by his mother, which is where his journey began. He visited the land of the wild things, played and partied with them, became their leader, and ultimately ended up back home in his room.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Originally published by Harper & Row in 1963. Most recent edition is from HarperCollins, 2012.

It was a wild book, edgy for its time, and criticized for its imagery, which some considered too grotesque for children of that era. Others also criticized Sendak for creating a rebellious hero in Max, the boy who would not listen to his mother.

Half a century later, School Library Journal surveyed its readers who decided that Where the Wild Things Are was their favorite picture book of all time.

Wild Things in Song

Later in the 1960’s, Angelina Jolie’s uncle Chip Taylor wrote a song called Wild Thing and supposedly, it was recorded by an obscure band called the Troggs in about 20 minutes. Another band had recorded an anemic version earlier, but the Troggs’ song was a hit. It’s a simple song, which may have been a joke on the part of the songwriter, but it’s been played and played and played in the decades since.


In 2004, the Troggs' Wild Thing checked in at # 261 on the Rolling Stone list of the Top 500 songs of all time. The same title has been used in several other songs since then, such as the 1989 song by Tone Loc, in which "the wild thing" refers to a certain act.

Wild Things in Movies

In 1989, the cult classic movie Major League was released, featuring both the song and a character nicknamed Wild Thing. Actor Charlie Sheen played the role of the slightly unstable pitcher known as Wild Thing and people even called him that after the movie. In 2013, Bleacher Report ranked Major League as the # 6 best baseball movie of all time.

Here’s a clip of the movie where the Wild Thing pitcher is being called in and the song is playing:

Speaking of movies, who could forget the 1998 erotic thriller entitled Wild Things ? At the time, the movie was hot stuff that pushed some peoples’ boundaries. That was the 1990s, when men also rewound and paused their VHS video copies of Basic Instinct to catch the one frame where Sharon Stone was missing an undergarment. (The Internet hadn’t yet unleashed all of its vices.)

I'm sure you're looking at the size of that phone. Ironically, the actress holding it was later married to the actor who played the Wild Thing in the previous film. Credit: Columbia Pictures.

The Wild Side of Life

We all have some wild in us. For some, that spirit is manifest in daily life, in the choices people make and the actions they take. Others believe there’s nothing wrong with conformity in most aspects of life, but they still yearn to express themselves and they seek outlets for showing some wildness. Even if we’re sitting on sofas, living vicariously, and channeling our inner Batman behind the Bruce Wayne in our mirrors, we are tapping into that primeval force.

Creativity comes when we channel our inner wildness, even for brief interludes. There is wildness in everyday life and also in fantasy. When wild calls, don’t ignore it for too long. You won’t get around it, only through it. And with that experience comes a chance to live.




Top Baseball Movies:

Dorian Gray (Wikipedia):

Facts About Sendak's Wild Things:

School Library Journal Top 100 (PDF):

Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs:

Wild Things, the Movie:

Top image: Pixabay. Bottom image: It's a very nice image, but I still feel like it's missing something.


Life with little wild, is sometime beautiful

big wild........................

can u follow me plz mohammed i d be greatfull am new ^^ @mohammedfelahi

when they see you upvote power lol ! now see there are so many wanting your upvote hahaha :D

Nice work tying the various concepts of "wild" together and hooking it all onto creativity and applying it in our daily lives.

Everyone told me since I was a child that I'm quite wild... But after reading this post I feel much better about it.
"Creativity comes when we channel our inner wildness, even for brief interludes."

This sentence couldn't be more right. I will add it in my quote book with a little note "By DonkeyPong". That's exactly how I feel everyday. I try to cultivate my inner wildness, to create, and then post it on Steemit. :D

Thanks DonkeyPong, for healing my insecurity. ;-)

the sadest of all the actress holding it was later married to the actor who played the Wild Thing in the previous film.

Why is that sad?

heart hurts lol :D

The idea of ReWilding is absolutely at the forefront of every conscious action I make. Thank you for this, following you now.

ReWilding. Wow, that's a good term to coin here.

Check out the work of Daniel Vitalis!

we are"Born to be Wild"

That was the 1990s, when men also rewound and paused their VHS video copies of Basic Instinct to catch the one frame where Sharon Stone was missing an undergarment.

I know some still have the basic instinct movie up until this very moment.

That was a large phone!

Hey - perhaps we need a WildeCoin!!!

Coming soon to a blockchain near you.

Bring it!

Ive always loved living on the edge .

There is wildness in everyday life and also in fantasy. When wild calls, don’t ignore it for too long. You won’t get around it, only through it. And with that experience comes a chance to live.

This, simply amzing. It could mean many things to different people, i know that the call of the wild means its time to go eh, poo.

The first paragraph though, correlates with what I first wrote. being somewhat young, I always aspire to live as wild and free as possible, to live a life that is free from worries, to live in a peaceful setting.

Despite all these though, I got responsibilities,both self imposed and others, that I must fulfill,so the ones after me can live free and wild.

Responsibilities, yes. We all have those too. :)

yes indeed sir D, Its amazing what one can do when mentored sir.

Maybe Lou Reed's got the perfect theme song for this post??
Take a walk on the Wild Side!
..........and the colored girls go ..... ..... .....

Doo do doo do... Actually, I had that in mind for an alternate ending, but not enough space to include every reference.

OH I love this wild theme you got going on! I agree be free, wild and release your imagination! The sky is the limit! :)

"'As Wilde wrote in the novel, “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.” And in another oft-quoted gem: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.'"

Love this quote.

I studied Dorian Gray in junior college. You know what always intrigued me? The book he read, the book that totally corrupted him. I wonder how evil it was.

This immediately made me think of this very underrated movie...

And one of the few times I liked a movie with Melanie Griffith.

LoL, Basic Instinct, I remember well... Major League,, I freaking love that movie! And that phone is PHAT!

What a great read! Thank you.
To me being wild implies setting free natural energy, and as we all know it's complicated to stop nature during a long period of time. There comes a moment when it just needs to break out.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.

I would sign that right away :)

After that, I think I'll never say that I'm wild person. I always describe that like sometimes that I don't have ''clean'' mind, my mind is always thinking, working. And I am also pretty hyperactive. But from you post, I see it like somehow bad. Maybe mine ''wild'' word is different than yours. :D

Your wildness @dadazler is super cool... 😋 Keep it unleashed for us in steemit and let's keep it wild....

There's nothing wrong with being wild. :) It's a good thing most of the time.

I'm wild but also organized. I'm hyperactive but I can stay focused on my work or any other serious stuff. I can be both. Well, dunno, I don't want to categorize myself. I am one crazy wild super serious kid.

Beautiful piece. We are taught to conform and mind our manners; to be ashamed of ourselves for acting out. Well, a new age has dawned, a shift is taking place, and more people are seeing the value in being authentic, in being different. A colorful world is a beautiful one. Namaste :)

This reminds me of Young Wild and Free song by Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg.

I guess some of you know the song,its a great song that really realizes some wilderness in us.
Let me quote the lyrics here

We’re just having fun
We don’t care who sees
So what we go out?
That’s how its supposed to be
Living young and wild and free

We really need to be sometimes wild to some extent,it releases the great energy within us.

There is beauty in not being controlled!

This statement here below says it all to me.

We all have some wild in us. For some, that spirit is manifest in daily life, in the choices people make and the actions they take

Do not be scared to take wild decisions just because many people do not understand you.

I love the book "Where the Wild Things Are" .. or I should say that my son loves the book! :)

The Movie "Major League" is a true classic (hysterical). And who wouldn't love watching the Movie "Wild Things"? I mean, as a teenager growing up when that movie was released, there are several unforgettable scenes in there!

Very right ma'am @evolved08gsr back in the days those wild movies were the bomb.... Being wild has it's good sides... We have a lot of wild folks on steemit too keeping us entertained... Nice comment 😋

I'm not sure who ma'am is.. but thanks for your comment..

Ahhh...sorry for the ma'am 😊 @evolved08gsr just my wild funny way of trying to guess the gender of a great steemian blogger...😋

No worries, I don't take it personally. It's difficult at times to guess a person's gender simply from their comments / blog posts. Although between my avatar being a car, and some other hints, I feel like it's not too difficult to figure out mine haha

For you may not be...but not all is as intelligent as you are with a great IQ 🙆 find time to also check my blog posts

a very great post @donkeypong, this is what I have been waiting for from the first. Sometimes one has to transcend himself in wild ways to avoid being tangled with life and rigorous life rules. thanks his article, this is very useful for me and everyone

I'm starting to get an appreciation for your style of posting. Very interesting how you take a subject and turn it into something that holds my attention for more than 30 seconds. After seeing your cover photo I had to click on it. As it reminded me of mountain biking the andes on a foggy day, and suddenly the fog cleared and I was in the company of two wild stallions and their less so beautiful half donkey half horse female mates. It was an incredible wild memory, I thought I could share with you at the right wild moment, on the right wild post! Hope you are well. From Vientaine Laos -Dan "World Travel Pro!"

I think you have missed "wildlings"(group of people who are located beyond The Wall) of Game of Thrones,haha.

True! I'm sure I've missed a lot more than that. It's hard to fit everything in one post.

A very good story about wild life @donkeypong. thank you for providing insight or knowledge through this great post. success always for you

Sometimes we all crave to be wild. Being too organised all the time can be boribg at times. That is why spontaneity is key, giving in to the wild side of life but controlling it well. Thank you for sharing this sir.

Ah, I can see you've been talking to Stellabelle! I like organization some of the time, but you're right that it's important to leave room for spontaneity.

Wild is a risk to break out of the consensus. It takes courage and tenacity, as who wants to be a "group of one?"
Be fearless, and take a walk on the wild side.

A group of one, yes. It takes some courage to be an individual and be willing to stand out from the pack.

I think most of us have a little bit of wild if not all. I think wild almost means being free and not carrying what others think, and doing what you want to do or simply just stepping out of your comfort zone. Love your post especially the picture of the wild horses. Beautiful

Yep! I like this post, nicely done!

Wild thing...

You make my heart sing...

You make everything... Groovy... :)

Haha. I think those are nearly all the words to that song. They just keep repeating!

Wild thing, I think I love you... But I wanna know for sure

Yeah, I wonder why it took 20 minutes to write? Maybe he took a bathroom break too 😆

Living a bit wild and sometimes even dangerous can make the difference between living and NOT living at all! That doesn't necessarily mean that we have to live reckless at all times without thinking the situation first, but can make a huge difference in giving life a meaning. Anyway, thank you for sharing with us, great article with really nice photos!


New post update here :

Thank you!

We all have some wild in us...

Wise words @donkeypong , i tried to tap from the wilderness have passed through and some might notice it manifest in some of my blogs. At times being wild get me through some of those days!

Creativity comes when we channel our inner wildness, even for brief interludes.

I think i will take this advice and run wild in jon Bellion's voice.
There is always a mark of creation on being a bit egdy. Thanks sir for these facts and write up. I have learnt a couple of things.

I really agree these lines in your post:
We all have some wild in us. For some, that spirit is manifest in daily life, in the choices people make and the actions they take.
u beautifully expressed ur message in interesting way. thnx for these kind of post, waiting for nxt.

I like living wild and free and my definition of Wild or how I understand what wild means is, being able to let loose and be yourself. Wild Things and Dorian Grey are classics and still gets a watch every time.
Nice article as always and it reminds me of the song by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa- Young Wild and Free

The more I've though about it and the more comments I've read here, the more song titles come into my mind. There's a lot of wild stuff out there.

Exactly, Wild and good. I think the word Wild has lots of angles to it and it takes only the adventure minded individual to truly get it.

Hey! New to Steem! First Post I've read!

Love this. Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorite Books.
Although the over arching thesis is really one that is saying, be wild... but there is a cost to living. Oscar Wilde also believed you could tell a criminal or sex offender by their facial structure which was a pretty prevalent concept at the time.

That's an interesting point. The way I described it here may have been somewhat simplistic. You're right that there is a cost, which was part of his ultimate lesson from going through that wild living phase.

Guy at Stanford released news today; sez he can write facial recognition software that will tell your IQ, your politics and many other things about you. Hum...

Really cool post. I like all the historical etymology; 13th century: women of the evening.
I remember reading the Where Wild Things Are with mom when I was 4.

As soon as I started reading this post I immediately though of "where the wild things are" then I see OF COURSE it is in this post!

As with all words "wild" is interpreted/perceived slightly different by different people. For me personally it is a "good" word one I would use as a compliment.

I was once on the cover of a newspaper Dallas Observer and the article was titled "Wild Child"

I like the post. SteemON!

Awaken the wild life
Everyone has a wild part of him/her
Just depends on how you handle
And you point out a fact here

you wont get around it, only through it
Sometimes we just have to be wild because it will surely have its way willingly or unconsciously
Nice words

Wild is my nature.

A very good post donkeypong, I have by now come to expect this of you. A good reminder of things we like and the feeling of freedom "wild thing" depicts. we love the book by Sendak and glad it was reprinted so that my grandchildren could enjoy it. All good. Sometimes everyone needs to be a little wild.

Do you know about the #rewild movement? Daniel Vitalis?

Yes! Maybe you can do a post on that. :)

I heard a great quote: "If you haven't found something you are willing to die for, you haven't yet lived." Martin Luther

I am super fascinated with paragliding and I think its because of my WILD nature and the fact that it does have some inherent dangers. I personally believe that you are a full person when you live on the wild side. Great post.

Paragliding sounds like a great outlet. If there aren't dangers, then it ain't wild.

If you are in San Diego, hit me up and we can get you up in the air at Torrey Pines for a Tandem flight. My friend is getting his "Tandem" certification so he needs to have a certain amount of flights before he gets his sign off. Normally its about $175 USD. If you have about 5 days, and about 3k USD you can get lessons not to far from here where you will be flying after the first day. (Soboba). They have the gear, and the teachers. On the last day you take a writer test. They will walk you through everything.

Are you afraid of heights?

I did it the less traditional way and learned from other pilots, books, and youtube. LOL Thats why I always say, don't try this at home kids

I love that song Wild Thing..I even bought a CD for a couple of years just to hear the Troggs singing it. Speaking of the term "Wilde" ... it is still used here in Austria and in Germany in daily life... that Marlon Brando film The Wild One" was translated into german as "Der Wilde".

I think I've got a little bit of wildness in me. But it's cool though, at least my friends say it's cool, and I believe them.
Awesome piece sir

Wow, now i am begining to fall in love more with steemit. Awesome things we learn about and get to know on steemit.
This breakdown of the term wild is very interesting @ donkeypong. I do agree with you that we all have the wild side. Mine is crazy and i do love it. Interesting and educative post.

The cold difference between the word wild being use for human and animal is quite discriminative.....don't you think so?

Yes and that may be a clearer way to explain it than I did.

I think its a good thing to be wild, thou i've been a wild person

The Call of the Wild- Jack London

I am sure that most of people read this book about wild.

And of course; everyone born to be wild, like at the song :-)

Yes, there are so many. Now you have me thinking about doing a Jack London post someday.

it is a very good idea, in these days when cultures are corrupted, we need more than the old, to read worthy authors over and over... to understand everything better..

I like the quote : to live is the rarest thing in the world, most people just exist. It remind me to another quote, some peoples feel the rain, others just get wet, so that, let's live little bit wild and crazy in positive way.. like dance in the rain and storm :)... anyway, i concern about the last picture, something missing there, the boy has no head, right?.. thanks @donkeypong

Feel the rain...I love that also. Thanks for sharing.

It is indeed intriguing being wild but at times freeing yourself excessively can a tad bit uncalled for hence frowned upon by society. A nice piece of writing you have there.

An interesting reference. Dorian Gray movie I have not had time to watch it to completion. The film is interesting, tells the story of character formation shown by Ben Barnes.

The movie is fairly good. The book is better, but it can be a little hard to read. Wilde was an amazing writer.

Yes I think so @donkeypong, although at the beginning of the appearance of Oscar Wilde's work by some critics considered to damage the morale of the English. Before finally Oscar Wilde revised some of the parts considered vurgar and also as a form of the first revision in the form of a novel published in April 1891.

heard Wild..
reminds me of a song.
Welcome to the jungle it gets worse here every day
Ya learn to live like an animal in the jungle where we play
If you hunger for what you see you'll take it eventually
You can have everything you want but you better not take it from me

Guns n Roses

I want to tell you one thing,
i made some poetry in chinese language,
please forgive me if the translation is wrong,
I am from Indonesia,, @donkeypong

Wilderness is in our DNA, a species who lived among other apes few hundred years back. We just need simple inner inspiration to unshackle it :)


Awesome post. Really great content.

My family always called me the wild child. I guess it was because I never conformed to the authority. I was always questioning it and walking the fine line.

You're not alone my friend. ;-)

if we want to examine who these humans are to each other must have the same where everywhere in the world he did not obet animals there is a tame that there is a wild cat if he get a full outpouring of love so he is so human beings when educated and attentive then he does not will be wild just every man has a desire well this is the main cause he started from the triangle of elements 1.Mata.2.telinga., 3.akal thought then if this is the third work then the wild side will arise but otherwise 1.mata .2.hati .3 thought thought then he became the wise because whatever is done there is a filter of his heart then here he is guided from the truth this rescuers sorry a bit of the view of the Wild or not thank

Dearest @donkeypong , I need Sponsor for my drawing contest sir... Please help me and let us nurture our talents in this beautiful community. Here is the link of my plans... thank you so much. I hope you'll notice me.

superb post brother, up-voted & comment..

I agree with your sentiment. A little wild is good for the soul. We all have a little rebel inside of us >;)

Good job
Plzzz vote
Pollow n comment me @mudatnad
Thks u

Really interesting post! I think everyone has their own kind of wildness.. Thank you for sharing this.


  1. no one nurtures; not kept people (about animals)
  2. individuals (flora or fauna) that are resistant to disease because they have never had a disease

Nice and beautiful

I like the imagery of the last one, it's a different way of viewing of what the wild side could be as well :)

Nice topic, I hope you to share us your writing skills

Being yourself is the best thing we can do in this conformist framed and limitations filled world.

Living on the edge gives me the kick. live would be so boring if nothing was wild .

life is never outstanding @donkeypong :D

be wild it is necessary, because wild teaches us to survive :)
I learned a lot from your post, @donkeypong

look at my blog, maybe there is something interesting for you to see @berline

being wild..there is something to think about..i never had that sort of idea about being wild..thanks for sharing these thoughts with us :)

Its interesting @donkeypong I liked your discoveries on how wild had a different sort of meaning during different times, like how your brought Dorian Gray I love the character idea and I myself use the same quote as I feel I see it often even with myself sometimes “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.”

Daily Learn some new from your post. Love to read it.

your writing really nice. love it

Only wildeness that can change the world, so be wild! Love your writing!

A good job will be priceless if you follow me and vote for my post

Great post. I always liked my wild side, since conformity does not inspire me.

Sometimes is pretty good to be wild :)

Wow... Sure need to get wild on steemit @donkeypong thanks for getting me wild... Very nice post dear... Keep it up

Me gusto el Post, buenos argumentos.

Saludos desde Venezuela, le estoy siguiendo

Very good post @donkeypong . . I have followed you. 🙏

Is it true that societies are trying to suppress the wildness that is always inside us?

Nice post
Follow me guys 😊

Save nature

Good job n vote me for u
Take care......

Hi @donkeypong i do believe all of us as humans do have a side of our wildness in us,as on my perspective i do believe this is the fact that one tend to be fearless of nothing and at the same time he or she want to do whatever he or she feels like been rough and rude at the same time,so that means i am a victim as well but i do believe we can control our wildness because it's part of our lives as i agree with you,lastly we need to walk with it and endure it because it has both advantages and disadvantages thank you @donkeypong for your post and keep it up.

Guys, my name is Leo I'm new here on steemit, I'm an ecommerce and marketing expert would love to bring some of my stuff over to steemit in the future, so please check out my profile, thanks!

What is considered wild for some, others see it as normal. For example Japanese ads.

What a wild subject to talk about! That was a great read, very original, thank you for writing it.

I feel being wild sometimes! Great post.

A pleasure to meet your blog @donkeypong, I love reading your writings, you are a great writer, I follow you, and I invite you to see my new post, where I share photos taken by me to different animals, I would appreciate if you leave me a comment with your opinion, greetings and hugs!

Humans are complex creatures.

But we are social animal


Life is always change... sometime you can think about wild... but not all can can save with wild life... nice to see your post @donkeypong...

Wild to me means taking actions that feel true to your heart even if it defies the conventional society and the mental/cultural conditioining you have been exposed to.

very carefully created great post, wild life would be a unforgetable life forever.

Let's take a walk on the wild side!

great article i love it yup it is important to be wild :p keep up the good work can u follow me plz am new ^^ and upvote i d be greatfull ^^ @donkeypong

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