Just because the end of 2012 has come and gone, and the end hasn't come as quickly or dramatically as you imagined, that doesn't mean that we've entirely avoided the apocalypse. The signs of apocalypse are everywhere, and every way we turn these days, we stumble over another of the walking dead.
Not to be confused with the TV show, which Entertainment Weekly called the "secret life of the post-apocalyptic American teenager," the real zombie or walking dead is “a person who moves very slowly and is not aware of what is happening especially because of being very tired...a will-less and speechless human...”
Psychiatrist, Robert Lifton, predicted this zombi-like state years ago when he suggested that the nuclear age had put us all in the grips of what he called "psychic numbing" Lifton concluded that, faced with constant demoralizing, apocalyptic images, our minds stop trying to find the vitalizing images necessary for any healthy life.
“Every effort to form new mental images only conjures up more fear that the chain of life itself is coming to a dead end. Ultimately, we are left with nothing but apathy, withdrawal, depression, despair."
Well-meaning people everywhere reinforce this mindset. Stop the corruption NOW, or we're doomed! In our increasingly desensitized world, messages need to be apocalyptic to get noticed. “Stop the destruction or we're going down for the count!” And as if that weren't bad enough, sometimes the message is that the game is already over!
This all works to reinforce the idea that we're trapped in a cascading apocalypse. As catastrophes (and the perception of catastrophes) build, hopelessness becomes epidemic numbing down even the best and the brightest and creating more apathetic zombies every day.
Many find hope in the apocalyptic world, where all reasonable hope is gone, by clinging to their religious notions of somehow being better than everyone else and escaping to a better place during the rapture. Despite the fact that the idea of this sudden departure appears no where in the book of Revelation, and despite the Catholic Church long since disavowing any credence to the idea, many still cling to it as their hope in a hopeless world.
Unfortunately, this left behind culture has produced an irrational eagerness to embrace the ultimate doom as a gateway to the mythical promised land. Even as the concept of oneness with all living creatures becomes increasingly widespread, traditional Christians are anxious to condemn sinners (who are basically identified as anyone who doesn't belong to their particular sect). They see themselves championing this final battle against evil, never realizing that if we aren't actually beginning the final battle, that they are destroying all the hopes for peaceful resolution, making them... (wait for it) the evil ones who are making war. This is just one sign of the zombi-like mentality that is contaminating our world.
Admittedly, doom is creeping up on us in possibly every conceivable way – environmentally, politically, economically... forming a sort of slow moving glacier of apocalyptic destruction threatening us from all sides. However, as my favorite college math teacher used to say, “All problems have solutions.”
Scientists have shown that renewable sources like sun and wind can provide all the energy humanity needs. Alternative technologies as well as economic answers are putting those theories into practice around the world.
Granted, there is still plenty to be afraid of, but fear numbs the mind, and of all the things we have to be afraid of, a frozen up collective mental mechanism is perhaps the deadliest.
Our world needs real answers, and those solutions are there just waiting to be discovered and put into action! Just don't expect much help from the zombies.