How To Find Hope When Zombies Take Over


scene from The Walking Dead

I’m not saying it would be an easy life – living out your days in a world filled with zombies, but it seems to me that there are still plenty of reasons to hope.

Now granted, I’m only in season 2 of The Walking Dead and maybe the humans are more accepting of their reality as time marches on, but right now, there’s a sense of shared desperation and despair – an understanding that life will never be the same again, so what’s the point of being alive?

Allow me to rewind, in case you don’t watch the very popular AMC television show. The Walking Dead takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, where zombies far outnumber the living. Everywhere you go, there’s a zombie – or ten. If they scratch you or bite you, you’ll turn in to one of them – and if you can’t manage to get away, they’ll just eat you.

Yeah.. it’s a pretty grisly and gory show but it’s also got a great cast of characters and some really interesting subplots.

No Hope of Tomorrow

The conversation ensued and the topic was that of “hope”. Why live in a world where the best you can hope for is to stay alive – where everything has forever changed? Wouldn’t it just be better to commit suicide and end it all?

I loved the topic. What intrigued me most is that it’s probably the same conversation many people have today – in a world that hasn’t endured the walking dead.

Clearly, the desire to live is all about perspective.

For some, alcoholism or drugs are their zombies. For others, it’s depression, abusive relationships, cancer or who knows what. It’s the personal demons of a crest-fallen soul that’s enough to make a person want to check out – but there are those who will fight to the very end, with every breath left inside.

I like those people. In truth, I love people from both sides but I really like the ones who refuse to give up. They inspire.

Why don’t some people ever give up? Why do two people, faced with identical circumstances, sometimes choose two completely opposite paths in life?

I think it’s a matter of hope and perspective. It’s often said that “depression is the inability to construct a future.” I’m never dealt with depression so I won’t pretend to know if that’s true but it does seem logical that happiness might be easier attained by having a greater confidence in a more positive future outcome.

But then I wonder if that’s always true?

Have their been even a handful of men with every reason to quit in life, who had no possible promising future – but they forged on anyway?

Was there maybe one captive slave during the Wars of the Roses who managed to maintain a positive outlook and sense of humor, despite being chained up in some dungeon and informed he would spend all his remaining years there? Maybe he told knock-knock jokes to the guards when they brought him food, knowing full-well the food was only for nourishment so that he might be beaten and tortured every day?

Hey, I’ll admit it – I don’t think I could be that guy – but having a little hope is different than no hope, isn’t it? And that brings us back to perspective.

In a world where everything has changed, I suspect men find out what they’re really made of and who they really are. There’s no more laying on the couch every evening and watching baseball. Circumstances force you to question what you really believe in and how far you’re willing to go in fighting for a particular cause.

I think the “trick” might be in giving up hope for the future and looking to the here and now – embracing change and enjoying the moments as you experience them.

Sure.. it would suck to be on the lookout for a flesh-eating zombie at every turn, but these people still had each other. They were still experiencing laughter and love within their group of friends and family. They still had friends and family. They found new shelter, met new people and were experiencing life on the grandest scale.

On several occasions, they were forced to kill dozens of zombies in order to survive. Embrace it. I have no desire to ever take the life of another human being, but sticking a sword through a zombie’s head when he’s trying to kill you? That’s just got to be a far better stress reliever than mashing down on a stress ball in cubicle while working your 9-5 job for the next 40 years.

Experience the thrill of being alive.

As much as I enjoy kicking back and watching a new episode of The Voice on TV, it’s never comparable to how I feel when I put on my running shoes and head out to jog for a few miles. I experience life more fully in the moments I allow myself to be more challenged by life.

How much more challenged must one feel by running down the road and evading zombies that have a top speed of about 3mph? I dare say that I might even make a game of that once in a while. It’s got to be a greater thrill than hitting the treadmill for 45 minutes.

Where To Find Hope

a tiny clover growing in the crack of  a rockHope is found in the smallest cracks but it can grow larger than anything in life. Grab hold of it and nurture it. You might be surprised of the outcome.

Live in the present moment and realize that nothing is more sacred and special that the moments you’re experiencing in the present.

In fact, tomorrow may never come but don’t sweat it. Tomorrow never came today and you made it through the day just fine. Put your hope in the joy that fills your life right now because you can always plan for tomorrow – but you’ll never live another here and now.

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