Survival in a zombie apocalypse often relies on people coming together. But, as we saw on Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, good help is hard to find.
While I’ll be the first to state importance of being able to survive alone in a zombie apocalypse is, the value of being in a group can not be understated.
Having a group means that you have someone watching your back when you’re fighting the dead. It means that, if you get incapacitated, you have people who’ll help while you recover. Lastly, having a group means that, when the apocalypse gets to be too much, you have someone to support you.
That said, good help in a zombie apocalypse can be tough to find. While a good group member can be as trusty as your sidearm, a bad group member can be a greater drag than a ball and chain.
Why? Well, a bad group member can prove quite unreliable. Reliability is kind of crucial to the cohesion of a group; a group doesn’t work very well if you feel like you constantly have to micromanage everything you’re doing to make sure it’s done right.
You need to be able to trust that the people in your group are going to do what’s in your group’s best interest. If they don’t, not only can that cause problems, but it also means that you can’t trust them.
Want an example? How about Simon!? (By the way, did YOU notice that little smirk he made when Dwight radioed back to Arat? That sneaky bastard…)
Negan told him to ensure that the Scavengers stuck to the arrangement they had made, that’s it. What does Simon do instead? Kill them.
Because Simon has too much of a bloodlust (Evidenced by Negan having to angrily tell him that exterminating Hilltop was not an option), Negan can’t rely on him to actually do what he asks. Simon’s love of killing people has deprived the Saviors of valuable allies in the Scavengers, and probably valuable resources from Oceanside. On top of all that, now a thoroughly enraged Jadis has captured Negan. Simon’s aggression is more of a detriment to The Saviors than it is a benefit.
Of course, Simon’s…enthusiasm for violence getting The Saviors (Or, at least, Negan) into trouble isn’t the only problem. It seems like that enthusiasm is leading Simon to decide that he is better suited to leading The Saviors than Negan is.
This is why you need to have reliable people in your group. If you don’t, you could end up with someone who’s…a little too ambitious. Such a person may decide that your group doesn’t need you around, and might just take steps to ensure that you aren’t. Their ambitions will ultimately mean more than doing what’s right for the group.
Now, having good, reliable people in your group is not a one-way affair. You are just as responsible for your relationship to your group members as anyone else is. If you don’t treat people in your group right, you can’t reasonably expect them to be loyal to you, now can you?
Look at Dwight for example.
When Simon was tickling at the idea of abandoning Negan to whatever fate he might have met, Dwight didn’t really object. And why should he?
After Negan took it upon himself to turn Dwight into Two-face and recruit Dwight’s wife, Sherry, to be one of his wives, why should Dwight have stuck up for him? Even without the fact he’s working as a double-agent for The Alliance, Dwight has no reason to be especially loyal to Negan.
When you mistreat people in your group, you can’t expect them to not pay you back.
All of that said, when you do find someone who is reliable, they are worth their weight in gold.
Take Daryl, for example.
In spite of getting in to a brawl with Rick over what to do with the Saviors, Rick knew he could rely on Daryl to lead their group safely to Hilltop.
In fact, in spite of their differences throughout the apocalypse, Rick has consistently been able to rely on Daryl to do what was needed to ensure The Group survived.
That is the sort of person you should look for: A person who can put aside differences they may have with others in their group to do what’s necessary; Not feed their bloodlust, not undermine people, but do what The Group needs done to ensure it survives. Someone who is reliable, loyal, and isn’t so driven by their own selfish desires that they put the group in danger.
Good help is hard to find in a zombie apocalypse. When you do find it, hang onto it.
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!