I had a very long post for today, but I decided that in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, people would be so busy helping others that I needed to keep things short and sweet. So, I decided that I would give you six things you can do to survive the Cupcake—I mean, the Zombie–Apocalypse.
1. First, realize there are no such things as Zombies.
However, the early promotions of Hulu, a site similar to On-Demand, were all about people’s brains becoming “mush” as they mindlessly binge-watched their favorite shows on their televisions (or tablets, or phones). While people are not quite Zombie-fied, they are so attached to their electronic gadgets that they keep forgetting about a whole wide world out there, with actual people in it, that they can connect with, and they are forgetting how to connect with actual live human beings. I mean, seriously, a hug in person is so much better than an emoticon. So is a cupcake. SO GET OUTSIDE AND INTERACT WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS WITH SIMILAR INTERESTS. Or hell, join a new club and learn something different! Either way, get social on something other than Facebook or Instagram!
2. Realize that the news never portrays the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
You need to be informed, but remember that all news stations are owned by people with agendas, which is another form of brain control. If they can create public emotion toward something (or someone), the media can emotionally hijack people’s minds, and easily manipulate the public. Riots are a form of control, believe it or not. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. www,Snopes.com, factfinder.com (for statistics), and truthorfiction.com can be good (I use the Library of Congress, as well, because once something is copyrighted, it is logged there, so this may sometimes include interviews and notes edited out of film). My aunt listens to foreign radio news stations and subscribes to a foreign news service (both in the USA and UK), because she swears they have the best news. Find a reputable source. In the case of the Orlando shooting victims, there are already scams in place, especially those claiming to be for specific victims. If you would like a list of some legitimate sites to donate to Orlando (as well as tips to look for scams), you can go here.
3. Be strong enough to put your judgments aside.
If I am in a shelter with someone who is going to save my life (or at least not eat my brains), I will not care one iota about that person is green, purple, polka-dotted, and I am not going to ask what faith she holds. I am going to care if she is willing to share her chocolate with me. I am going to care about her ability to think, her unselfish attitude to share food, and her desire to keep everyone safe. I will hope that she will trust me to share my water, to tell good stories to pass the time, and to stay awake when I am supposed to be on watch. What would a person be willing to “forget” if her life was about to change forever? The doctors who saved the victims from Pulse–all 48 victims brought to them in ambulances and police cars/trucks–did not care about such trivial things as ethnicity or who was the bigger YouTube star. They cared about doing their jobs to the best of their abilities to save lives. We should echo that in our everyday lives.
4. Try using a different perspective.
We divide ourselves by saying, “We want to be equal,” and we fight against everyone who is not like us. It is another way our minds get hijacked, because we are not truly fighting for equality. We are fighting to oppress that which angers us. Remember #2? The media perpetuates the hatred, the confusion, and the fear. I heard a former CIA operative discuss the problems we have between distinguishing between “policy” and “people,” and how some keep confusing the two words, which are completely different.
We need to realize this, and realize we have a choice in how we act towards each other. You do not have to join my church to say, “Good morning,” “Have a nice day,” and “Thank you.” I do not have to have a rainbow sticker on my bumper to offer you a hug when I hear that your dog passed away. I do not have to be a Republican or a Democrat to ask about your family’s health as I pass you in the parking lot. Because hey, it might be your bunker that I run to, and I do not want you to lock me out as the Zombies try to get me. It is up to all of us to keep our heads and hearts open.
5. Celebrate non-Zombie diversity.
It's time for us to find ways to appreciate each other because we are different! Click To Tweet You and I can experience the exact same thing (say, a Zombie attack) at the exact same time in the exact same way, and we will both internalize it differently, no matter what. It has to do with the brain synapses, which chemicals are released in what doses, which sensations are impacted the strongest, and how those sensations are compartmentalized. After we defeat the Zombie, safely get into our cozy bunker and lock it, we can share how we perceived the Zombie attack differently, and this will enrich our experience and memory even more. In this particular case, we may have nightmares, but since Zombies do not exist anyway (read #1), I think we may be OK. We need to be comfortable enough with and have enough faith in ourselves. If you feel threatened when you encounter the whole comparison/competitive thing, you can go here for some ideas on how to navigate that challenge.
6. Only you can stop the Zombie Infection and Apocalypse.
Do you remember Smokey Bear? The campaign was designed to convince people they
had control over nature by carefully putting out fires in the forests. It was a concerted effort to get everyone’s attention and assistance. We have control; we can make the world a better place, if we can act together. Right now, Zombies (people) are spreading fear, anger, and division among us. If we are going to keep our nation safe, if we are going to keep our loved ones safe, we are going to have to help each other heal, and we are going to have to work outside our comfort zones. We are going to have to pay attention to our neighbors, to our young people, and to others around us. We are going to have to do better than simply “coexist” with others. We can create something better than a bumper sticker. Click To Tweet We need to start being proactive, instead of reactive. How does the saying go: If you don’t live your dream, you will live someone else’s? Dream, world; it is the same. What kind of world do we want to build?
America is supposed to be a symbol—hope for the “tired, … poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe” freedom—and we need to help each other keep that hope strong. If we do not, others “in power” will do what they think is best. I am not trying to use fear, but I remember the repercussions and security measures after 9/11. I hear President Obama using the same words that President Bush used to explain changes. The “powers that be”
may go to greater lengths to control our liberties this time, all in the name of “safety.”
Let me be clear. What happened in Orlando was a tragedy. So was San Bernadino, and Paris, and everywhere else where people are needlessly killed. However, if we wait for the politicians to make us safe, we are already Zombies. We are already giving our ideals and freedoms away as we wait for other people to solve problems. As you can see, they are not stopping the madness, and gun control is not an end-all, be-all answer.
We need to keep bringing communities together, so we can form ways to collaborate and maintain our own identities. There are some people doing amazing things all around us. We need to get so many amazing things going that they overlap, and they are no longer considered “amazing,” but expected. We need to find more ways to share the goodness of our country: people’s desire to help, people’s willingness to give, people’s ability to listen and encourage. We need to find ways to inspire other communities to share olive branches under our flag, and we need to do that now, before the Zombie Apocalypse happens. We need to build a world that we—and those who live after us–deserve.
So, Cupcake, what suggestions can you add to this meager list, that could help create a better world?