Fight, flight, and why zombies are scary

Fight, flight, and why zombies are scaryGot to get away – got to stay here – which is it, fight or flight? Can’t do both, or can you?

No – yes – there is a moment in between, when the paralysis of indecision holds you in your tracks – the deer-in-the-headlights moment. Stay too long in that condition of indecision and life (the car) hits you broadside and hurls your lifeless body into the ditch.

In the deer example, flight is the obvious choice. The deer in the headlights was not going to fight and triumph over the oncoming car. That’s why the expression is “as if” you were a deer caught in the headlights, standing still “like” a deer …

Because flight or fight is usually a choice between two valid alternatives. Take a stand, hunker down, stand your ground and work for the cause – or walk away.

Stay too long in the glare of the headlights, doing nothing, though, and then the decision is out of your hands, and you are defeated.

The good news: Usually you live to fight another day, a little battered and torn perhaps but still alive. The deer isn’t quite so fortunate.

Too many days of indecision, though, too many times being caught in the headlights and doing nothing until the car hits – that crushes the spirit in the end, a living death that is hard to watch and hard to live. That’s why zombies scare us so.

Is that what’s troubling you, Bunky?

Well, then, get on your feet and fight for what you believe in your soul to be the right thing to do. Or jump out of the path of that oncoming car and run with all your might into the comforting shelter of the woods.

But do something. Doing nothing takes the decision out of your hands, and few things are as frustrating as letting life happen to you. How about you happening to life for a change? Carpe diem, seize the day and all that.

Don’t just stand there with the day slipping through your fingers, like a deer waiting until a ton of steel hits him in the eyes – do something! Fight for the next piece of ground or run home, but do something or the collision will hit – the day will end with no decision, and no decision is a loss. The day is gone forever and with it the chance to act now.

The good news is “now” is still here. Now is always now.

Maybe one opportunity, one day, slipped away, but you can still do something now – maybe not what you hoped to do and lost through indecision, but something else, something just as good, or better, or not as good but still pretty cool. It’s still now. It’s always now.

All right, you seized the day – it’s yours, right there and squirming in your hands.

What are you going to do with it? What’s it going to be? Fight, flight, or get hit broadside?

Choose now. and now. and now.

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WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith, journalist and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, and a couple of cats.