Lest We Become Legend

We all know what zombies are, right? Once upon a time in movies like “Night of the Living Dead”, or “Dawn of the Dead” etc. the zombies were slow. They ambled around, they didn’t know what they were really going for. I mean, sure they were dangerous, especially if there was a mob of them, but one or two of them you could easily avoid. Maybe bash their heads in. Easy peazy, lemon squeezy.

In the early 2000s, the game changed. The zombies became faster, they were smarter, and in hordes they were unbeatable. They became dangerous even if there was just one of them, with their strength becoming near superhuman. Some good examples are “28 days later” or “I Am Legend” with the latter originally being about vampires.

What I have noticed in the past and I must admit I am guilty of it myself, is a shutting out of other opinion’s in favour of one’s own opinion. We shut ourselves in our bubbles and look away. If the news is not to my liking, why would I read it? Their propaganda, I will not fall for it. My sources are the best sources… And so I ask you, are we the zombies, or the survivors?

What do the survivors see zombies as? They are mindless, they simply kill to survive and have no sentience. They are former husks of themselves and are to be lamented, pitied, disdained, and killed if need be. The zombies do not know what you know, they are not survivors. They are not living. Someone you know, or love, might have become a zombie. What an unfortunate series of events. You will avoid them, shun them, and if need be, kill them to avoid your own demise.

These are extremes, of course, but imagine now that you are a survivor, a Communist for example. A fervent, die-hard Communist, bordering on fundamentalist. Then a Capitalist comes along, how would that person appear? Like a zombie, no? The other person ambles through life, cluelessly. What do they know about my life? He/she is a fool, led astray by the media or some other entity with a large influence. They are truly void of their senses! They must be crazy! Not equal to be called a human, or anything similar. Their ideals, their beliefs, they border on madness! Sadly, I must disconnect from that person, however it has to be. They have become zombies.

We have again a pattern of people of different ideologies taking their opinions and beliefs to the extreme. We are unwilling to understand the other side, nor look at the other side as on our level. Quick are we to drink the “liberal tears” or laugh at the “racist pricks” who have no understanding. But do we understand? Do we care to?

We must avoid putting people who think differently in, not only a different box, but a box so detached from our own that we do not see them as even nearly equals. We are humans, all of us, and to denounce another person or group of people for thinking differently as mindless zombies, will lead to a seclusion of ourselves and them.

Let us all consider ourselves survivors and fight not with hard rhetoric, ad hominem attacks, or ignoring the other. We must open our minds and hearts and also accept that we are fearful. We accept we are fearful of change, the future, and to overcome it is to reach out and understand wherein lie those fears. Mark Twain wrote

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear”

The ending of the novel, which I have not read mind you, but according to the summary of the novel “I Am Legend” where a the narrator who was not infected attempted to kill vampires by day and escape them, is interesting to see. You need not read on if you wish not to be spoiled.

A new society arose, as the vampires could not be defeated and he was imprisoned. As the protagonist then looks out of his prison window. He sees that the infected view him with the same hatred and fear he once felt for the vampires. He realises there that he is a remnant of old humanity, which is now a legend to the new race of infected born people. He is the monster. His last thought before he consumes a pill to join the new society is:

“[I am] a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.”

We as a people must not let these different opinions, whatever they may be, split our society where only one can survive. Let us not become legend.

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