Archive for November, 2010

Are You Alive or Dead….or Undecided?

November 16, 2010

People watching is an entertaining passtime.  Recently, while sitting in an airport, awaiting my greatly delayed flight, I had an interesting experience.  Maybe it was sleep deprivation or the petrified sandwich containing preservatives and meat of uncertain origin that I had just consumed….but I found myself staring, glassy-eyed, at the masses of fellow travelers passing by me.

For a moment, I was transported from the airport into a scene from “Night of the Living Dead.” I became an observer; watching zombies pulling luggage and navigating through the crowds of other robotic humanoids. Those on the moving sidewalks slumped against the handrails as a recorded voice warned that they were approaching the end of the ride and reminded them to move their feet again, once they were off of the human conveyor belt.  Some of the zombies seemed agitated and shouted into cell phones held up to their ears and some had gadgets attached TO their ears which made them appear as if they were talking loudly to nobody, as they pushed and shoved to get through the crowds of other zombies. They all seemed to be functioning in their own worlds and not really connecting with the others. I shook my head to clear it and realized that these were not really zombies…just people who were very tense and concerned about what was going on in their individual worlds.

A few days later, I found myself in the reception area in the offices of a major corporation. Again, I sat and observed the comings and goings of people; but this time, they were all employees of the same organization.  As I watched them…lo and behold…the zombie image flashed through my head again. There didn’t seem to be any sense of community.  There didn’t seem to be much joy. There was a lot of cell phone activity but there was very little eye contact. The conversations I overheard in that lobby seemed to focus on how much everyone disliked being there and how they couldn’t wait until the weekend, at which time they could start living again.

It started me thinking about how I live my own life. Do I express gratitude and the joy of simply being alive only when I’m doing something I want to do? Do I see other people….really SEE them? Do I act like I have a pulse even when I’m bored and would rather be somewhere else? Or am I often so wound up in my own problems that I become a zombie? 

How about you? Do you only come alive on weekends and spend Monday through Friday like the walking dead; going through the motions but not really participating in life?  I think it’s good for all of us to remind ourselves that happiness doesn’t occur in a vacuum. We are social creatures wired for emotion. We’re at our best when we’re engaged in and engaging others in daily activities… at work as well as at play.  So, if we are still alive and not dead….let’s act alive and not undecided!  Zombies are unattractive. And they probably smell funny. Here’s To Life!!