Today I got a fascinating glimpse of what the world might be like if humans lacked empathy and became blinded with a sort of compassionless chaos. And by ‘fascinating’ I mean jaw-droppingly jacked up.
Random acts of strident hostility popping up all over Manhattan today. And it became wondrously evident to me just how dangerously close we are to a massive zombie apocalypse. Really. I know I’m not the only one experiencing moments of losing our cool and questioning the sanity of everyone around us while we stew in an anxious anticipation of doomsday scenarios.
This is not something that happens to me regularly, thank goodness. So when it does, I have to stop and think… What exactly is going on here? Why am I being called to bear witness to these episodes of atrocious behavior? Universe, what are you trying to tell me? Is there something I need to be paying attention to? Some lesson that needs to be garnered from this heinous display?
The thing is, I really do not like to dwell on the bad stuff. I just don’t. I’m in the camp that believes that what you put your attention on will be attracted to you. Or, as I like to say– You are what you eat. This is why I do my damnedest to steer clear of newspapers + TV. It’s a conscious decision to “eat” less crap. On the flip, I try my best to fill up on awesome literature, epic films, and inspiring people.
BUT– sometimes you can’t escape the crazy out there. Sometimes it comes right up to your doorstep and bangs on your door. And what then? What is that all about?
Well, let’s take a closer look.
My husband says that I stand as the center of a calm universe. I love that. And I feel that. I’ve almost always been able to rise above the fray and see the bigger picture. It’s like in meditation practice when you access ‘the observer’– the higher Self that sees past the frivolity of it all and opens up to an expansive knowing that everything is connected. It’s a matter of shifting your point of view– from Reactive to Responsive.
Sadly, not everyone is keen on this kind of thinking. So, you get people who are deeply hurting from who-knows-what sort of traumatic event, infecting their surroundings with a sort of vitriolic hatred that is normally reserved for corrupt dictators of third world countries or hollywood paparazzi, but now it’s on your block and you’re left flummoxed, because what happened? Why is this happening to me now? I thought I was safe.
Back to Zombie apocalypse– James and I talk a lot about Zombies. This being the scariest of the horror film genres because they’re entirely real. I mean, Zombies are just people, aren’t they? That’s why they’re so scary. They’re just people who’ve lost conscious awareness, compassion and manners and now they want to eat you. I saw one on the subway this morning. I know you’ve seen ‘em around too. Lacking any consideration for other human life… the walking dead, going through the motions, angry at the world and really just wanting to steal and chomp on your brain power so you will become one of them.
Zombies want more than anything for you to lose your head. Get it? They want your brains. But really what that means is, they want to steal away your energy and eat up all your kickass conscious awareness. They want you to forfeit your Responsive brain and go straight to Reactive brain where they can really stick it to you. Remember, they’re pros. You don’t want to go head to head with a mud-slinging zombie.
This zombie mentality (which is a hilarious oxymoron btw) tends to take us by surprise and forces us to take a look at our own levels of alive-ness. Are we thriving on our own volition, or are we taking up space while mindlessly following the herd?
On days like today when I’m slapped in the face with zombie mentality, I have to examine my options of fighting back.
May I suggest a revisitation of manners? Eww. That sounded a little preachy and took me to a cringy vision of 19th century Victorian England. But, hang on, let me explain.
By manners I simply mean the effortless acknowledgement of another human being as an entity with a heart and soul and possibly a lot of pain. That’s all. (okay, so maybe that’s a lot.) It’s a realization that we are not alone in this world. That our fellow men and women were once born perfect without flaw and we can choose to honor that part of their person. Good manners are not only a sign of respect to everyone who crosses your path, they are also a sign of deep-seated Self-knowledge and Self-respect.
Manners are awesome and we can debate the rules of and please and thankyous and yes ma’ams and holding the door for people and playing your music at a reasonable level, but that’s not as interesting to me as this: The one and only rule that you ever need to remember. Yes, I’m talking about that gloriously golden sunshine superstar of a rule– Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
I think that’s the reason that rule is so popular. Because it actually works.
Until it doesn’t. And THEN what?
What happens when you’ve used your manners and the G-Rule– your arsenal is flagging and that hate-filled zombie just keeps coming at you? What then? How do we fight without getting just as dirty as the wrong-doers?
Um… this is really tough, right? Cuz if you’re like me, there’s a big part of you that is like– “f- that person! This is all out War, and you are going Down!” But, I mean, then it just escalates and everyone gets dirty and awful and the zombie wins.
So is there a way out?
Well… let’s take a look at some fine cinematic work to see if there might be any answers there.
Okay. I’ve seen a lot of zombie movies, but James is the king of zombie movies. At first I didn’t know what the deal was, but now I realize that his fascination with zombie movies is less entertainment and more research. He is studying this archetype to know its habitat and motivation so that he will be ready to defend himself should he ever find himself in a situation with one. Smart feller.
Alright, so, how do we defend ourselves against zombies? We’ve tried the Golden Rule, and this zombie is still coming for us.
As far as I can tell, from most of the zombie movies out there, you’ve got 2 options. You can either, 1) hunker down and hide, or you can 2) Move your ass. Like, fast.
Let’s examine these choices a little closer. And please permit me some poetic license here. Should you choose to hunker down, hide, and wait it out, you are effectively choosing to shut down, silence your voice + power and just ignore the creepy dudes until they leave town. Problem is, they usually stick around longer than you think and eventually they either find a way into your armored hideaway, or they starve you out cause you weren’t prepared for that kind of isolation or monotonous drudgery.
The other choice is Move! And by this I mean, Be like water; Dodge the bullets like Keanu; Race to higher ground and Find your higher power. Movement is life. Upwards! Onwards! Keep going, growing, changing, and challenging the status quo. Witness the hateful comments and know you are Bigger than that. Rise above it. Champion those who can’t fight for themselves. Remember, you’re the one with the brains here. Start using them to craft your way out of this situation.
As you may have guessed, my preferred choice is number 2.
Because if there’s one thing zombies aren’t prepared for, it’s a razor-sharp wit and copious levels of benevolence. Okay… that’s two things... Which leads me to the last thing you need to combat zombies: Always, ALWAYS, double-tap. That consistent conscious kindness is like zombie kryptonite. Use it or lose it. Boo-ya!