Zombies, Barbarians and Pokemon Go

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I don’t get Pokemon Go. I haven’t played it. But apparently, it has become a national distraction.

Right now, I am not interested in being distracted. I am interested in paying attention, keeping my eyes, ears and heart wide open and alert to the storm warnings that are rolling in angry tides across our nation. Globe, even.

Black and blue, white and black, right and left–we are polarized, terrorized.

Lift up your chin and look around. Barbarians and terrorists are back in fashion. Zombies, too.

While we literally walk around with our eyes glued to our i-phones, or whittle away the hours chasing Pokemon through back streets, we are blinded to what is becoming a new reality.

I walk through my work building daily dodging people with their heads down, reading emails, while completely disengaged with their surroundings. It is the same with drivers, too.

I am guilty myself. But the other day when I watched a string of people walk by, faces down, scrolling through their phones, it hit me. They–we–are the new zombies. We are the Walking Dead.

I’m one too–and I am a big fan of Walking Dead. I have always told myself I liked the show because of the drama and because it wasn’t “real.” There are no such things as zombies–they don’t exist.

But I see it differently now. We are becoming zombies. What’s worse, we zombies in our sleepwalking are not paying attention to the other archetype that has re-awakened–the barbarian.  You can romanticize Game of Thrones, but here is the truth–barbarians are trolling the land again. Barbarians are terrorizing humanity to the point where a lunch at McDonalds or a trip to the mall can be a scary thing anywhere in this world.

Even our political climate has become a barbaric bloodletting between rival parties and their followers.

Politics won’t fix this folks. It’s up to humanity to start acting—being—human.

It’s our choice to treat other people with respect, with humanity. It is our choice to put down the guns, the rhetoric, the pointed fingers, and begin the hard work of active listening. It is up to us to rebuild our communities with hard work and even prayer. It is up to us to create social justice, because that is what a fair and balanced and loving society of humans does to keep peace. Barbarians, not so much.

I don’t think we only should count on the heavens to save us. Sometimes, I think the heavens are awaiting our response.

What will we choose? Will we answer the call to collaborate, to communicate, or will we Keep up with the Kardashians or walk around like a zombie, head down, chin down, ducking from life?

No, I’m not a fan of Pokemon Go. Did I mention that?

If you’re interested in more thoughts on integrity, compassion and grace–if you’re looking for exploratory questions to unearth pieces of your soul, check out my book Tao Flashes, available on Amazon. Or visit me at http://www.facebook.com/taoflashes or on twitter @taoflashes.

7 thoughts on “Zombies, Barbarians and Pokemon Go

  1. One of your best commentaries in my estimation. I thought this would go further: “It is our choice to put down the guns, the rhetoric, the pointed fingers…” Might we not consider putting down our i-phones and gaming by children in restaurants, etc.?

  2. I don’t get Pokemon Go either. I agree with you. Today in this political climate it is better to connect in real life in real time. To be a part of the conversation and the solutions.

  3. Great post, Lisa. Looking at a phone is a metaphor for wiping out personal contact, something I grew up with and learned from and still enjoy. Ten years ago I became angered when I saw young mothers on their phones ignoring their children. It’s worse today. And the Pokemon game can be dangerous. You are searching for something in the virtual world while ignoring the real world that is not always prepared for your antics. Two young men fell over a cliff here in California. We need to wake up in SO MANY WAYS.

  4. I am getting so tired of the eyes-glued-to-the-phone thing. I took a walk on the beach this morning, with NO distractions – well, except for the beautiful distractions of nature. How refreshing!

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