Why Not to Be a Zombie

Maranda - Greer, South Carolina
Entered on March 18, 2009

My heart beats regularly, of which I am glad. Sometimes the little muscle palpitates harder – when I get done running or I see a boy I like. Sometimes it beats slower – when I’m sleeping or cloud-watching on a hill. But, it always beats. My lungs take in oxygen, of which I am glad. Sometimes the air is cold – when I’m playing in the snow at Christmas time. Sometimes it’s warm – when I’m splashing in ocean waves during summer vacation. But, I’m always breathing. By scientific definition I am living, but to me simply functioning is not enough. To be considered alive I must search for solutions or deeper meanings and empathize with other people in order to obtain the knowledge I seek; otherwise, I am merely subsisting, traveling day to day, blind and callous.

I believe in living.

I had a friend who was dead once. Every day he came to class meek, mild mannered, and completely concealed within himself. He hardly talked and had no opinions of his own. I didn’t know what to do to help poor Chris. Frankly, I assumed him to be a lost cause. Months passed, and though our teacher constantly challenged her students to form thoughts and then share them with the class, I saw no change in the quiet boy who sat in the corner. The school year ended, and summer vacation forced me to part from my friend. During those two months, a miracle occurred. Slowly at first, I began noticing subtle changes in the e-mail messages I received from him; he started adding “random thoughts” here, and interesting insights there. By the time school was back in session, Chris was an entirely different person. No longer meek and mild, he spoke his mind. He thought about other people and cared about their lives, rather than simply suffering through his own. Finally, Chris lived.

Watching a person come to life is inspiring. The twinkle in Chris’ eye when he has a new thought, even if the idea is something I have known for years, shows that there is hope in the world. With every passing moment I am open to new experiences, mental, emotional, and physical, and with every passing moment so is Chris, which proves that people are capable of coming alive: to think, to feel, and to make the world a better place. Cognizant, kind, living people are the only ones who can improve society. I believe in living to make a difference.