I've thought about culture-shock and self-worth in general, but I like the ZomPoc scenario for juxtaposition and perspective. If you take a computer geek, and suddenly there are no computers, how does the geek define his existence? The carpenters, and the welders, and the bakers and the mechanics all have immediately ten times the value the geek did, and the geek is accustomed to having thought himself more valuable.
Even better, that seven figure financial market guy. Thought himself God on a high horse. Suddenly no financial markets, no computers, no spreadsheets, no golf, no yachts, no margaritas. Finance boy better hope he had some hobbies - like carpentry - or some warrior type will throw him on the front line as a meat shield.
Then again, Bruce Sterling remarks, in this excellent interview on "alien culture shock" (relevant to the ZomPoc, because turning the world upside turns everyone into a refugee):
"When people are humiliated, and they feel worthless, dishonored, and without some plausible role in society, they often become despairing, or violent."
So, maybe putting Finance-Boy on the front lines is both a useful way to channel his anger at loss of self-worth, and a bit of karmic justice for all the little people he screwed in his pursuit of money sex.
What's the Point Again?
My point really, isn't about the ZomPoc, but about self-worth. Too often we define our personal value against external measures. Do we earn "enough" money? Do we have a big "enough" car? Do other people think we have a "cool" job?
We forget to ask simple things like:
- "Is my house clean?"
- "Is my driving record clean?"
- "Am I paying my bills, despite adversity?"
- "Are my kids healthy and well-adjusted?"
- "Am I good at my job?"
I mean blow it, if your day job is bagging groceries, then get good at it and do it well.
If you do something worthwhile, someone will be pissed off.
At the end of the day, shit still stinks. That means we all have equal value, even if we have unequal worth and unequal opportunities. Be the best you that you can be.