In a zombie apocalypse, you’ll need to make sacrifices to survive, however, as this week’s Walking Dead showed, you can’t choose who makes that sacrifice.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: A zombie apocalypse will require sacrifices. The safe, comfortable life you once knew will be the first. Many of the creature comforts from the days before which may make you vulnerable to undead will be the second.
The third, however, will come later and be far more costly: It will be in human lives; Perhaps those of people you know, perhaps those of people you love, perhaps even your own.
That sacrifice may need to be made to save others from a large group of zombies or, perhaps, from a group of hostiles. Whatever the case may be, it isn’t up to a third party to decide that someone has to sacrifice themselves.
And yet, on this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, that’s exactly what we saw.
Just to get you up to speed, Richard, one of Ezekiel’s right-hand men, attempted to convince Daryl to help him ambush a couple of Saviors; The idea being that they’d leave evidence to lure The Saviors into retaliating against someone else, which would convince Ezekiel to agree to help Rick fight them.
The problem was…that person was Carol. Not surprisingly, Daryl nixed the plan.
But, more importantly: Whether it was Carol or not, who died and said Richard could choose to sacrifice someone to achieve his goal of going to war with The Saviors? No one, as far as I can tell.
The fact is…no one has the right to make that decision. For anyone.
I know what Richard’s argument was (Essentially): Carol needed to be attacked to ensure “The Greater Good”, i.e., a war he assumed The Kingdom, Alexandria, and The Hilltop would win.
Always be wary when someone’s motivation is “The Greater Good”.
Many a person, even now, will use “The Greater Good” as the excuse for a whole host of awful things, up to and including sacrificing others for said good.
But, quite often, when a person uses that (Or some equivalent) as the reasoning for their actions, very rarely are they the one who ends up sacrificed; Usually, it’s someone else.
The thing is: That’s not how it’s supposed to work. If you’re trying to be a leader or a hero…that’s not how you operate; You don’t lead from behind, and you don’t have someone else make your sacrifice.
Richard told Daryl that he’d die for The Kingdom; Daryl’s rather pertinent reply was simply: “Then why don’t you?”
Look at Rick. When The Governor offered him the proverbial “Deal With The Devil”, Rick, while initially considering the deal, realized that he simply couldn’t.
Even though he didn’t know Michonne at the time, he realized that he couldn’t, in good conscience, just make a decision over the heads of the rest of The Group, and throw Michonne to the wolv–The Governor.
Why? Because, even in a world gone to Hell, it’s not a choice you can make for another person. Quite frankly, doing so is a sneaky way of being a “That Guy“, much like Gregory. Even if you’re not as cowardly as him, you’re still essentially throwing an otherwise good person under the bus.
How, exactly, is that “The Greater Good”?
It isn’t. And those who tell you it is, are lying, even if only to themselves.
This is why you follow…The Rules.
And that’s our survival rule of the week!! Hopefully, it will help you should you ever need it and give you that mental edge that will prove so crucial once the dead start eating everyone.
If you like this and want to find out more rules to survive the zombie apocalypse, why not pick up a copy of my book, The Rules: A Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse! You can get it on Kindle here and on iTunes here!