Zombie (noun): … person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less; a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton.
Often wondered at the prevalence of zombie movies? They seem to be as pervasive as the living dead themselves. Not only are there the doomsday scenarios, hero-saves-the-world memes and zombie chick-flicks, but there are now satires and video games!
Movies are often a commentary on common themes and sentiments in society and provide a mirror to reflect fears through metaphors without actually having to articulate them. So what do zombie movies say about how people are feeling? Powerless? Perhaps, although that might be a little too cliché. Uninspired? Probably.
When the alarm goes off, there is often a mindless adherence to routine, bereft of consciousness and self-awareness. The routine continues at work: checking emails, writing notes, and attending meetings without ever questioning assumptions or outcomes. Going through the motions waiting for the next long-weekend and counting the days until retirement (even if you love your job … let’s be honest, who doesn’t have one side-project on hold?).
No matter the sector, it is easy to get stuck in the mundane, day-to-day rote responses – not because we are powerless, but because we choose to become powerless. We fail to see the possibilities, and deny our creativity, our dreams and our passions. We fear shaking things up and therefore fall into habit. We are uninspired.
It is hard to not be sucked in, the long corridors lined with closed office doors and cubicles, and possibly a light at the end. Industrial-sized elevators transporting hundreds of people an hour up to windowless meeting rooms with terrible chairs, a rectangular table, and a teleconference spider, long lines at Tim Hortons and identical gray-blue winter jackets congregating around bus stops.
This is the apocalypse. And we are all zombies in this movie. But we don’t have to be the zombie or the movie.
Waiting doesn’t help. The best way to deal with the apathy is to find and reignite the passion that you put on the back burner for when the “timing is better.” There will never be a better time than now. You can’t wait to fight the zombies; they are not going anywhere unless you do something about them. Zombies are always hungry and looking for their next victim, they feed off those who don’t fight back.
I recently broke free from my zombie movie, but my path may not be yours. Battling your zombie is not easy … and sometimes I wish I still had the rote-routine where others controlled what I did and when. Being completely accountable for my actions makes me the antithesis of a zombie – and while I may fail, at least I faced the zombies to reclaim my passion.
Tabatha Soltay: Agent of Chaos, General Do’er, innovator, and networker. Tabatha has a Master’s in Tree-Hugging from the University of Oxford, a minor in life, and applied experience in process design and facilitation. Tabatha has recently left the public service, but continues to share and apply what she has learned from various experiences, helping people become collaborative and creative one project at a time. While not plotting and scheming to help others, she travels and bakes. You can reach her on Twitter @tabtalks.