What if you’re the liability?

We’ve talked about the people you may meet in the post apocalypse. We’ve also talked about possible liabilities for your survivor group. In each of these articles, we’ve assumed that you’re one of the better survivors—one who can survive, one who won’t bring down the group.

But what if you’re the liability? What do you do if you’re the pregnant woman, the pacifist praying type, the idealist, or, like me, the woman with children?

Well, I’d suggest you do whatever you can to increase your chances of survival. By this I mean you should increase your chances of being kept in and accepted by whatever survivor group you find and join. How do you do this if you’ve been marked as a liability?

It’ll be hard, but you’ll have to change your outlook on life. You’ll have to change how you act. You’re going to have to train, because you’re going to have to make yourself useful. If you’re not useful, you’re dispensable. If you’re dispensable, you won’t have the protection of the group. And if you don’t have that, you’ll be vulnerable. You probably don’t want to be vulnerable in post-apocalyptic Earth.

Of course, this may be trickier for some people than for others. For example, if you’re the heavily pregnant woman, it’s going to be a little difficult for you to be able to run fast and be sneaky when you’ve got a beach ball-shaped whale attached to your belly. But you can do other things—you can maybe make yourself useful at the first aid station. Maybe you can cook. Maybe you can keep the camp clean and organized so that it can be packed up at a moment’s notice if necessary.

For the pacifists and the idealists, it’s going to be a long, uphill road. But you’re going to have to understand that the world is not a happy place. People are not going to be content to sit down and talk things out. People will fight each other. People will kill each other.

In other words, things will be kinda like how they are now. Only it’ll be on a global scale, and it’ll probably be in a wasteland.

Now, I’m not going to lie—there will be some things that will be hard or impossible to change. For example, I’m a mother (this isn’t a secret). And I will honestly say that if my survivor group were trapped in a room with no way out, pursued by bad guys, and one of my kids started crying, I will not, in any way, shape, or form, sacrifice one of my children to save the group.

Sorry, but I won’t. (And I realize I’ll probably get flamed for that, but that’s okay.) I suspect this may be the case with a lot of mothers. And our unwillingness to sacrifice our kids for the group’s survival is why mothers with children are liabilities.

However, I can also honestly say I completely understand that if my group really were trapped in that room, I would either be a) alone with my kids afterward because the group would abandon me, b) alone with my kids afterward because the group would be dead, or b) dead anyway because the group would kill me, should we manage to survive the attack.

That may (or may not) be the difference between me and other mothers—I’m perfectly aware of the possibility that I may have to go it alone. Of course, that’s not to say I won’t chip in should a group accept me (and so would my kids and my husband if we all manage to survive the apocalypse in the first place).

Ultimately, what I’m saying is that as liabilities, we have to be willing to accept the fact that we may not have the protection of a group. We might be kicked out of a group. Or we might not be accepted into one in the first place. But we also have to be willing—and able—to change our outlook, and be able to adapt to the post-apocalyptic situation and environment.

After all, remaining a liability isn’t likely to increase our chances of survival. And in the post apocalypse, as corny as it sounds, survival is the name of the game.

char

I'm Canadian, which according to movies and TV means I'm part of the group that's almost always wiped out during the apocalypse. I’ve watched too much Star Trek and Stargate over the years and spend too much time at my computer. Now, I'm waiting for the arrival of (and human enslavement by) the Borg or the Goa'uld. That is, if my computer doesn’t swallow me first.

6 Replies to “What if you’re the liability?

    1. Hmmm.
      Liability because it implies reckless insanity on your part
      Asset because it implies willingness to self-sacrifice.

      As I’d really rather avoid cannabilism (for the health issues that come with it, mainly) I;d have to call it as liability. Char? Tavia?

      1. I’m gonna call it a liability, if only because I’d really like to stay away from cannibalism.

        Also, if you’re starving, you’re probably not going to have all that much meat on you anyway. So the people eating you will get all sorts of health issues, without the satisfying meal. Which would just be bad for everyone all around.

  1. I wonder, though, how much of a “liability” is it to be a mother? I mean, in a post-apocalyptic world, wouldn’t we want to preserve the reproductively viable? Perhaps you are more valuable than you assumed!

    1. I think the problem is, that while fertile females are EXTREMEMLY VALUABLE- and once you have a survival compound swet up you need TONS AND TONS of babies, during the hungry wandering years kids require too much food, attention and rest while giving too little back. They’re noisy, too, which can get you noticed by what you don’t want to be noticed by.

      Sure, I wouldn’t necessarily turn down a pregnant woman or a woman with young kids, but I’d need some kind of assurance they could all pull their weight and they wouldn’t get us killed.

      1. Yes, exactly. In the beginning and immediately after the apocalypse, babies and pregnant women will be a liability. It’s hard to get a toddler to pull their weight, after all, and are more likely to throw a tantrum than to help make dinner.

        But yes, eventually, we’re going to want a lot of babies wandering around. But that’ll be a few months/years down the road.

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