Ethics Quote Of The Week: “Sasha Williams” On “The Walking Dead”

 

I referred to this speech in today’s Warm-Up, but couldn’t find the video or a transcript. I finally found the clip: no context is really necessary, because the words are based in basic ethical philosophy. The scene takes place in a hallucination; Rick Grimes, the central character in AMC’s apparently endless zombie apocalypse show, believes he is dying. On a field of bodies, he is met by Sasha Williams (played by Sonequa Martin-Green), a character who perished earlier in the series.

Sasha’s encouraging and comforting words to Rick are as concise and accurate as description of how I view ethical conduct and their essential value to civilization as I have encountered in scholarly texts or classical reference works. (This is why I am so attentive to popular culture.) The key words:

We change each other. We help each other. We make each other better. And it never ends…It’s not about you or me or any one of us. It’s about all of us…and I don’t believe that it just evens out. I believe it always crosses over to the good.

That’s exactly what I believe. And I didn’t even have to go through a zombie apocalypse to learn it.

21 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Quotes, Popular Culture, Religion and Philosophy, U.S. Society

21 responses to “Ethics Quote Of The Week: “Sasha Williams” On “The Walking Dead”

  1. dragin_dragon

    I knew there was a solid reason for hanging out here. I believe, now, much the same…in part because of things I have learned from you.

  2. 77Zoomie

    “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
    Proverbs 27:17.

  3. Zoe Brain

    Well said.

  4. Maybe her quote as a standalone is a great sentiment and optimistic outlook for mankind. But I hope it isn’t your essential core belief in exclusion to other key factors – such as a core belief in *what* ethical system the people operate with.

    Her quote within the context of the entire story of The Walking Dead is actually quite a terrifying endorsement of consequentialism. The show hinges on terrible gangs of miscreants terrorizing the hapless. Now the central core group (which in retrospect of the entire story arc is really just one of those terrible gangs of miscreants but maybe two notches less bad) is breaking apart in differences of governing ethics worldviews, all of whom are highly questionable in their motives and realistic hopes.

    Sasha is essentially saying no matter how rotten we treat each other it’ll all work out? Or is she endorsing Rick’s teenager air headed optimism that everything will just magically work out?

    I don’t know. As quote, isolated from the story arc, Sasha makes a good quote about the ability of ethical living to affect the greater society, but even then, only so long as the “ethics operating system” is a valid one.

    Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but having been an avid watcher of TWD since it’s beginning, I increasingly loathe when the show tries to push a moralizing message in words that is completely unendorsed by the action and consequences… or worse is designed to subtly endorse the action.

    • Well, in the context of the show and t5he episode, that wasn’t really Sasha, but Rick’s own fevered feedback rationalizing his own stumbling path. However, the statement was accurate. It doesn’t say that actions are ethical if they have good results. It says that the cumulaite effect of ethical conduct is good. That’s almost a tautology, but it’s an essential one to remember.

  5. joed68

    But we’re not BECOMING good, nor headed to it. Life is an inherent good, and our lives are all full of things to savor and be grateful for, if we could only be rid of our terrible habit of relentlessly enumerating the negative, while looking at any positive we become aware of with suspicion. I learned a long time ago that our experience with life is entirely a matter of what perspectives we choose, and how adept we become at seeing even the worst of it as opportunities for growth and renewal.

    • dragin_dragon

      It occurs to me, slick, that this is just what happened up in Washington State a few years back. The Republican candidate for Governor appeared to have won by a very slim majority…until a ballot box with 600 Democratic votes was ‘found’ by an election worker in his back seat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.