Walking dead actor rick grimes
March 3, 2023

What I Learned from The Walking Dead

I love a good story.

One that takes me to other places, that makes me laugh, cry or just relax. And it seems while I have arrived to the party pretty late, there’s one series that I can’t stop thinking about.

“The Walking Dead” has eleven seasons, so many of you may already have taken the ride years ago.

But in our household this show has become a real talking point because the moral dilemmas it presents are so closely aligned to the reality of our world.

The premise, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is that the human race becomes subjected to a virus that eats out the functioning brain. Those who catch the virus end up becoming part of a mindless horde of human zombies, intent on eating human flesh.

Sound gory? Believe me it is. This is definitely not a feel-good family show, so don’t watch it with anyone under 15.

But while the effects are realistic, to say the least, it is the human dynamic that I found most fascinating.

Survival quickly becomes the name of the game, as the world shifts from school drop offs, malls and life as we know it; to daily chaos, where basics like food and water are fought over by survivors, who quickly lose all the rules and consequences of society,  rapidly descending into dog eat dog (literally).

Of course, there are the bullies. The ones who gather around violent leaders and prey on the weak. But there are also characters who reflect the best of the human race. Rick Grimes, the central character, is a father, husband and small town local sheriff. He’s not perfect, but he has a strong sense of right and wrong, and quickly becomes a leader to a group of people that grows and suffers tragedy over a series of tumultuous, violent and emotional events.

There are strong female role models, unexpected anti-heroes, warriors and philosophers. Representing everything that is the best the human race has to offer, and much of the worst too as they are stripped of all the things we hold dear as a society.

No restaurants, no clothes shopping, no internet or hospitals.

While many lives are lost along the way, as the show develops, the script writers are able to show what a world is like when the currency is no longer money, but instead trading necessities needed to live this new life.

I love immersing myself in a series, and am guilty of “bingeing” a show. I know it’s good when the characters, and the dilemmas they are presented with, stay with me long after I have stopped watching. When I start to compare their situation to my own.

What would be important to know, or be able to do, if there was some kind of apocalyptic event? How would my family and I survive?

When I was watching The Walking Dead, all the things I was worrying about, or stressing over fell away.

The chores I had to do, the appointment I was late for. Would any of that shit matter if it was all about survival?

So what does matter?

It was quite clear on the show that what connected the characters were love, family, loyalty and friendship. That’s  the reason why the show has been so successful because these are the building blocks of happiness and humanity.

It’s the same in my own life. My family and friends bring the most happiness. My work is fulfilling my purpose and driving me to do my best to help make this world a better place.

Yes I have stresses, health challenges and all the difficult dynamics that go with families, but at the end of the day, I am extremely fortunate, and I am grateful every day.

What I do know is that all the things that matter don’t cost money. They are connections and attachments to people, to purpose, and to something greater.

But money allows us to make choices and have freedoms that without it, make our world smaller and tougher to navigate.

While we aren’t quite in the world of The Walking Dead today, we are in a tough environment where it has become more than obvious that the 30 years of economic growth we have enjoyed as a country are over.

There are limited resources, times are tougher and people are being forced into being much leaner.

In some ways, this can be a good thing. It can help us eliminate waste, running a tighter and more efficient household, and learning how to navigate tough times while teaching our kids at the same time.

Because we still have all the things that REALLY matter. Friends, family, work and the beauty of the world around us.

I say this because I know many of us regret not saving more when times are good, or stockpiling like the folk in The Walking Dead. But living with regrets is unproductive and a waste of time. We can only take the lessons from them and apply them to what’s happening right now.

So maybe it’s time to do a ground zero assessment of your life.

  • What can you do without?
  • What can you change that takes financial pressure off the table?
  • Is it where you live? The cost of your mortgage? School fees?

Whatever is happening for you, start imagining what you could live without. You’ll be surprised how much easier it can become over time when you adopt this mindset, to minimise spending in your life. The leaner you can operate, the less stressful life can be.

I have moved on to another series now, but I won’t easily forget the lessons I learned from The Walking Dead.

When it comes down to it, valuing what we have in our lives already, and appreciating the things that really bring us joy, can make life a whole lot happier. And being thoughtful and frugal with money choices is a smart way to live.

Because peace of mind is a valuable commodity.

Vanessa

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Each day I wake up excited to inspire everyday people to open up and take control of their money, regardless of their history, goals, or savings amount. About Vanessa >>

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