Posted by: beattieblog | December 9, 2011

Whats in your barn? The Walking Dead and the Lies We Tell Ourselves…

Hershel’s land, Hershel’s rules – one of the main themes of the last few episodes of The Walking Dead on AMC. Thats right, The Walking Dead. I’m completely hooked on this zombie apocalypse hit show. Don’t knock it – I’ve learned a lot! Like, if you’re in a coma and awake in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, put some pants on. Also, if you’re returnng to your band of fellow survivors across a field, don’t cover yourself in mud, wear human ears around your neck and limp slowly towards them – they will mistake you for a “walker” and try to shoot you in the head. I’m also asking for a sawed-off shotgun and sickle for Christmas.
But back to Hershel, the salt of the earth, old-school veterinarian, who allows them to stay on his land. What the group of newcomers lead by Rick don’t know initially, is that Hershel has the zombie-fied versions of former friends and family locked up in his (rickety!!) old barn. Hershel is convinced that the flesh-eating monsters are simply sick people who one day may be cured. He even recruits Rick to help him herd a couple walkers stuck in a swamp back to the barn. Let’s stop there as the final episode was honestly some of the best TV I’ve seen.
I want to talk about Hershel and his barn of monsters.
Hershel looks in his barn and rationalizes why these grunting, once-dead creatures deserve to stay. The folks who’ve been in the world understand exactly how dangerous the situation is. Where Hershel sees something worth saving – even protecting – the others see death, decay and a threat to their lives. Hershel, at great risk to himself and his remaining family, lets this threat linger when he should have dealt with it. And I can relate.
Beattie’s land, Beattie’s rules
I may not have a barn of zombies, but there are those things in my life – behaviors, attitudes, bad habits – that are really death and decay to me, but I rationalize why they should be allowed to stay. I tell myself they aren’t what others (friends, family, mentors) say they are. I can even get pretty indignant and self-righteous towards those ready to help me deal with these problems.
How about you? Are there things you’ve allowed to take up residence your life that you know better than to let stay so close?
Eventually the “community” around Hershel takes matters into their own gun-wielding hands and blasts the zombies in the head. Hershel – and us? – should not have allowed it to get to that point. We need to step up and face the reality of what’s in our barns and see it for what it really is. What’s in your barn? What lies are you telling yourself to keep that stuff locked up inside?

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