Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Zombie Killer in All of Us

My 12 year old nephew recently introduced me to the show "The Walking Dead" on AMC.
The show has been on for several years, but I only started watching it recently, thanks to his prompting. I am only 35+ episodes behind, but I am slowly catching up to season 4. The show is about the Zombie Apocalypse--a world full of zombies where only a few people survive. These few people are now fighting off zombies around every turn just to stay alive. In season 1 a few episodes in, they find their way to the Center for Disease Control facility in Atlanta, and get inside the building to take refuge. They had hoped there would be doctors and scientists inside with a cure or at least a pending cure for the zombie madness. Instead, they find one lone doctor who has given up hope. He explains that the whole world has been taken over by zombies, all the other CDC doctors are dead and that he can't find a cure. A digital clock on the wall is counting down. When it reaches zero the whole building will be blown to smithereens and the doctor is planning to stay in it when it does. He is done. Finished. Giving up. He tells the others that they should give up too. It will be more peaceful this way he explains. You know what happens if you go outside, he says. You will die a terrible, horrific death, i.e. death by hungry zombie. In here, death will be painless. It will be all over soon. One of the group members agrees to stay, but the others start screaming to be let out of the building. They grab guns and shoot at metal doors. They pound on walls. They do not want to be blown up with the building. They do not want to wait for the clock to tick down to zero. They do not want to die this way. No matter how bad it is out there, they will not commit mass suicide in here. Why? The doctor asks. What is there to live for out there? Didn't you hear me?  The WHOLE WORLD IS GONE!  His question is answered this way:
We want a choice. We want a chance.
In other words, "Even though we know that there doesn't seem much to live for, we choose to live because there is always that chance that everything will be OK. That we'll make it. That we might survive. We might stay alive long enough for a cure to be found. We choose to live. To fight. To stay alive for each other. We believe that there might be something else around the corner that isn't dead, dragging it's back leg and growling."
My friends, that is called HOPE.
And at the risk of sounding like I have a big head (since Hope is my name) I ask you this --What do we have if we don't have HOPE?
Nothing. No reason to live.

I was in Florida visiting family recently and ran across this T-shirt:

We can all agree with the Anti-Obama folks that change does suck sometimes. But Hope?
Think about it. Why get up day after day? There are zombies out there! Big, smelly, hungry, angry, persistent zombies! The two biggest "walking dead" are Death and Taxes! We will also face the zombies of sickness, natural disasters, unexpected emergencies, lost loved ones, rejection, bullying--many other things that disturb, destroy and demoralize us. We will keep going. We will press on. Why?
We get up because we believe that there is something worth getting up for. We have hope that our lives, our words, our touch, our kindness, our work, generosity, talent--will make a difference. We believe today might be the day. We might experience something great. We might feel love, give love, find love. Do something incredible. See something amazing. We might not change the world, but we get up because a child depends on us. Or a group of people depend on us. Some, like me, believe that God has a purpose for each life and that the time we spend here is important because we have a choice - a chance - to make it count for something. We aren't here to just live and die. We are here to give and die--give our love, talent, and money to take down the zombies, or at least make the zombies seem less daunting, to lessen their impact, to keep them away from others as best we can--to make it better for those alive today and for future generations until the day comes when we move on to the zombie-free world waiting for us on the other side. Today and tomorrow we will get up even though we know that the zombies of death, pain and sickness are all around us. We choose to live on because we have what it takes to kill them. We have hope!

-Hope A. Horner, 2014
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