There are only a few shows on TV that really get me on a deeply emotional level. Where I root for the characters, suffer with them through hardships and sometimes feel totally speechless after a gripping episode, when the credits already start to roll. All of this, and more certainly does ring true when it comes to AMC´s hit show THE WALKING DEAD.
Already six seasons in, the plot is still riveting, the character development feels organic and exciting and I am still rooting for the heroes like I did from day one. I guess as a loyal TWD viewer you will now nod approvingly. Right?! When I tell people who have never seen the show about how amazing it is, I usually only earn disgusted looks because it´s that show about the zombies… Since we just came back from mid-season break (and what a furious intro that was!), I decided to share what over the last six seasons, The Walking Dead has taught me. Solid life lessons, if you will…
ZOMBIES ARE THE VARIABLE X
I know the walkers and their moaning is kind of the score of each episode but I think they actually have a different meaning in the whole scenario. The possible threat a zombie apocalypse displays in the show, is a variable for a lot of different more likely real-life scenarios that could happen, like a world war, virus epidemic or environmental disaster and how people actually cope and survive. I hope we never have to experience any of it to that extend but it´s interesting to think about how I would react in a certain situation.
FIGHT THE DEAD, FEAR THE LIVING
There are experiences in our lives we all go through on some level, like accidents, sickness, loss, misfortune we really cannot influence and have to deal with sooner or later. That´s a fact. We can choose though, who is worthy of our trust and companionship. The real villains of the show are not the zombies, but other survivors who are plain evil. Just like in real life, there are people crossing your way who don´t have your best interests at heart and will do anything to see you fail. That´s a good life lesson, right there.
FRamily Is Everything
In the show the core framily consists of related people by DNA, friends and companions who proofed themselves to the group and joined them along the way. Like in real life, friends are the family you choose who will always have your back and trust your decisions. Also I have yet to see a bond of real brothers as strong as the one between Rick and Daryl.
Only the fittest and smartest survive
Money and an armony will only get you so far as the TWD clearly showed us so far. Knowledge, a few handymen skills and self-confidence is what really counts in life. Never stop learning and always keep pushing yourself towards greater and better things. You never know what you´ll need it for in the end!
Women are perfectly capable of saving themselves
Besides the amazing male characters such as Rick, Daryl and Glenn and their growth over the last six seasons, I am always rooting for the women on the show.
Carol, a survivor of domestic violence who was so afraid of everything and anything is now the one who calls the shots if emergency occurs. She´s strong and brave and doesn´t wuss out of the gnarly tasks. Maggie, the good daughter who had to grow up quicker than she thought and fell in love with Glenn and pushed through when she thought he was dead, if only for their unborn baby. Michonne, the sword-bearing loner who had yet to grow into her new-found family and learn to trust again after losing everything she had. Just like that, three outstanding examples what a modern heroine could look like! I am down.
Enjoy the little things
For a show that mostly deals with death and loss, I was surprised to learn that the sheer hunger for life and growing past the hard times to learn from them is so much stronger for the characters. Even though the next villain might lurk around the corner, the heroes always kept their positive and playful side. They joke and genuinely enjoy each others company besides the gore and setbacks they have to deal with. Prioritizing the little things is crucial in real-life. It can only get so much worse. To focus on the little things that make us happy and enjoy blissful moments is crucial to weather the upcoming storm!
Never Never never give up!
Whatever curveball life throws at you, when your meticulously planned out 5-year-plan blows, when you´re left at the altar, when your new job turns out to be a dead-end, … Whatever happens, remember, it could be so much worse! Never never give up! Don´t go the easy road, use your street smarts, trust your gut and keep going!
What did The Walking Dead teach you so far?