I've mentioned before how much of a fan I am of a novel that came out a couple of years before The Fall, called "The Name of the Wind", by Patrick Rothfuss.
I mention it here because the main character is from a social group of people that live constantly on the road, travelling from town to town in performing troupes. The greeting from one group of them to another is "One Family", a reference to the cohesive sense of belonging that all of their social group feel for one another, regardless of blood. It's always stuck out in my mind as an interesting way for a society to function, and given that the bond between them is so strong partly due to centuries of tragedy and persecution, an understandable one.
You'd think that the same mentality would apply to people in general now. We've seen ample evidence over the last year plus that such an expectation is, in the immortal words of Albus Dumbledore, "optimistic to the point of foolishness". All of us have seen marauders murder, rape, and pillage. We've all seen groups of survivors that are otherwise reasonable people refuse to help one another in times of tragedy. The sense of brotherhood (and sisterhood, I'm no sexist) you'd hope to feel is there, but far from universal.
The particular problem that prompted me to write today (it seems that lately it's always a problem that does the trick, instead of good news) is that our newcomers from Tennessee are having some trouble adapting to the compound. Since they got here right as so many things went wrong, the place seems overly hostile to them. It doesn't at all help that the homesteaders are either ignoring them or actively being assholes to them, a few demanding that each newcomer put in time on the wall.
Now, that's just absurd. Many of the women that made it here from Tennessee are pregnant, yet a few hardcore homesteaders STILL want them to do guard or sentry duty on the wall. Seriously.
Naturally, that's out of the question. A few of them actually did agree to go, but we've got policies around here about pregnant women being within feet of flesh-hungry undead monsters. Call us crazy, but it seems stupid to risk the lives of two people that way, you know?
I'd like to see a little more unity, especially since every single person in this place was once a newcomer with the exception of me and Jess. Some of them, like Pat, Little David, Allison, Elizabeth, and a few others, have been here almost since the beginning. Others came during hard times, or when we didn't have a lot to spare. No one came to the compound during a time when it was easy or simple for us to take them in. There has been no period of utopia.
It isn't the fault of the newcomers that they've arrived at such a bad time, and I'm fair enough to admit that most of the homesteaders know that. They acknowledge that fact. Hell, most of them are thankful that the food the newcomers brought with them is so plentiful. It's literally going to save lives.
Still, they ignore the newbies when they encounter them, and the homesteaders refuse to intercede with their more hardcore members in regards to the loud public derision of the newcomers. It's infuriating and distracting at a time when we need to focus out efforts as one.
If I had known what sort of long-term consequences the Richmond soldiers' occupation would have, I would have made it a point to assure they died a lot slower than they did.