Archive for June, 2011

Are You Alive or Dead…or Undecided?

June 26, 2011

 People watching is an entertaining pastime.  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!!