What creature is better to discuss on Halloween than the zombie? Of Haitian and West African origin, the zombie has certainly seen a popularity boom in recent years.
There is another reason zombies are appropriate to talk about now, and that is the current political climate. Among other things, zombies are thought to represent fears of the aristocracy of the hoarding masses rising up. (Vampires, in contrast, can be seen to represent the fears of the common man of the powerful, “blood-sucking” aristocracy.)
When I ask myself what zombies can teach us about happiness, I think of empathy. It is tempting to see those whose views oppose ours as something “other,” something less than human. It is easy to try to find a scapegoat for our anger, and often that scapegoat is the group of people we align with the least. It’s only so easy to see those groups we disagree with as a thoughtless hoard consuming all that we feel is good in the world.
Truthfully, though? We are all scared. We all feel helpless. We are all looking for solutions, and none of us are right one hundred percent of the time. Who do you see as the “zombies” in your life? Are they working class Americans? Are they BLM protesters? Baby boomers? Millennials? Are they the 99 percent? The one percent? Are they those who support the opposite political party as you? Maybe today is the day to try to learn something new about those you view as “other.” After all, what better day than Halloween to confront your scariest monster and realize there is a human being underneath?
I’ve got a few weeks left in the Creatures and Happiness series. Is there a creature you would like to see me cover that I haven’t covered yet?