Monday, February 6, 2012

The Walking Dead

There’s a show on AMC called “The Walking Dead.” (It returns on February 12th if you want to check it out). I’ve never been a big zombie fan, but I kept reading reviews saying the show was good, so I decided to watch it. It is good and I’m hooked. Yeah, yeah, I know the undead aren’t very motivational, but they are scary. And part of being motivated is conquering fear. So let’s talk about zombies. Why are they so scary?

There are lots of them. One or two zombies we could deal with. Millions of zombies? That’s a whole ‘nother thing. To tackle fear you have to make it manageable. Take it one step at a time. Ask yourself what can I do right now? I can’t find a job immediately, but I can update my resume. I can’t cure my illness overnight, but I can get to my Doctor’s appointment tomorrow. You can always take the next step.

They are creepy. I mean, they are gross - they are the undead after all. But lots of things are creepy - blind dates, job interviews, Bourbon Street. But what’s a little creepiness? Creepiness never killed anybody. Decomposition is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes you have to get past the creepiness to get what you want. Creepiness you can conquer.

They want to eat us. Okay, this is pretty scary. But lions want to eat us and they aren’t as scary as zombies. I think it’s scary because they ARE us. They are people with all the peopleness taken out of them. They don’t laugh or think or have compassion or empathy. We can’t communicate with them - they are soulless. They are us at our worst - a mirror none of us would ever want to look into.

They take away our humanity. What makes the show so interesting is the interaction among the characters. As each horror mounts, they respond in different ways. Some get harder and more violent themselves. Others reach out and offer comfort. Some turn inward. The ultimate danger is that the fear of the undead will take away the lives of the living. Fear will steal their joy, their passion. What fear are you allowing to take away some of your life?

Fear, like zombies, isn’t real. Don’t let yours make you one of the walking dead.

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