Monday, August 20, 2012

For Tomorrow

[Post by Will Price]

Each of us makes choices as individuals. The Fall brought death into all our lives. We have survived for a lot of reasons. Some of us were lucky. A few saw the zombie plague for what it was and prepared. Others had been prepping for some kind of cataclysm for years.

All of us have done bad things to get here. Nearly two and a half years after the end of the world and still alive. We protect ourselves fiercely and have to weigh every decision against the cost in lives that might result from it. History is full of those choices. World War II was and is an example we cannot forget. If America had entered the war sooner, if we hadn't waited until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to finally join the battle, how many lives would have been saved?

As a nation we looked at the potential lives lost for our people and decided that it wasn't worth the risk. At the time most people didn't know the real happenings in Europe. We were unaware of the atrocities of the Third Reich.

When we dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we were doing the same thing. Untold thousands died in a flash, entire family lines wiped from the earth between heartbeats. There are many conflicting opinions about the morality of that action, but even after the first bomb dropped the Japanese refused to surrender. Centuries of honing an indomitable warrior spirit boxed them in to a mindset that made death preferable to giving up the fight.

My opinion has always been that we acted in the only way possible. I believe that countless millions were saved by making the world aware that we were truly in an atomic age.

And now that we are in many ways back in the middle ages, those kinds of choices become much more commonplace. On one side of the scale we looked at our own people and those to migrate here. We measured the stability we're building and the potential we would be harnessing. On the other side were the Louisville group, ravaged by disease and desperate for help. To many it seemed like an obvious, if not easy, choice.

In the rush to defend ourselves we left one factor out of our equation. We didn't think about the cost it would take on us as people. I have been rereading this blog off and on for weeks, and this morning I thought to ask some of the younger kids what they thought of the situation with Louisville. Their responses made me take stock of who we are and what our ultimate goals are. Those kids thought we did the right thing. Without hesitation or thought. They didn't make the point that we could have done more, earlier. They broke it down into survival or death.

They are our future, and after speaking with the council about this, we've come to the decision that our future may not be as bright as we'd hoped for. It isn't that our young people lack compassion. They do have it. But we as adults have been too rigid and focused on pure survival and pragmatic choices to realize the lessons we were teaching.

That is why, as of tomorrow morning, we will be going forward with out plans to build a small but secure quarantine area for whatever Louisville survivors are left. We have twenty-one volunteers out of the new arrivals that are willing to risk infection to go bring them here and to care for them. We won't be allowing any contact, because we aren't suicidal, but we will provide for their needs through a system of dead drops so the two groups never come close than a few hundred yards.

Josh played a role in this. His breakdown was the wake up call some of us needed in order to understand our flaws. To expose them to the light of day. I told him about it before I wrote this post, and something in him, some long-held tension, seemed to vanish. By no means did he heal miraculously, but I think some portion of the burden he has been feeling lightened.


P.S. As part of his...therapy, I guess you'd call it, Gabrielle has ordered him to start getting back into some of his normal routines. He's still in the clinic being watcher at all times, but I take it as a very good sign that he edited this post. The sentiment is mine, the better phrases are his. I sat here while he did it, and while he isn't impressed with my writing, I was happy for each little groan at my bad writing as much as for each nod of his head or tiny smile at something he liked. You can shatter a thing and sometimes it's impossible to put back together. But if you can, it's a wonderful feeling to see those edges fit together and to hold. They might not be perfect, but each one is progress toward making a thing whole.

One piece at a time.

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