While Jessica was away, this cat has been watching “The Walking Dead.” Jessica doesn’t do zombies and the whole horror genre in general, so I typically choose to wait until she’s away to indulge in some disturbing entertainment. I had wanted to check it out, and now I’m hooked. It isn’t about the gore and the amazing makeup, or about the hacking of human corpses. That’s disgusting.
Like all post-apocalyptic stories, it’s about how extreme circumstances can bring out both the best, and the worst, in people. That’s why I love reading science fiction. It’s not about the gadgets, inventions, and such. I’m not a science geek. It’s about the social commentary. It’s about exploring what it means to be human, as circumstances put it in jeopardy and we face the possibility of dehumanization.
Facing the possibility, or the reality, of dehumanization, is for me a motivation to be more human. To guard myself from apathy for my fellow people, and explore how I can build people up, starting at home, and reaching out to places I will probably never visit. Because the injustice in some parts of the world should not subsist.
It’s strange, I suppose, how mere entertainment can motivate a person to live more fully, to love more, to care about others, to yearn for justice, to bleed for the downtrodden. That’s where entertainment transcends itself and becomes an artistic expression with a message. Shows like “Parenthood,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and yes, even “The Walking Dead” are not just entertaining. They are for me thought-provoking explorations of humanity, and inspire me to live more fully, and look beyond myself to the plight of others.
They remind me of why I am a part of Initiative 31.8, why I only purchase fair-trade chocolate, and why I constantly re-evaluate how I am interacting with my children. They also inspire me to consider how I can use art myself to speak into people’s lives and instigate change in the world – for the better.
What shows or other forms of entertainment inspire you?
What are you inspired to do?
What kind of help do you need to make that happen?