Twilight Zone Kindness #1 : “Where is Everybody?”

“Up there… Up there in the vastness of space, in the void that is sky… Up there is an enemy known as isolation. It sits there in the stars waiting… Waiting with the patience of eons… Forever waiting… In The Twilight Zone.”

Twilight Zone - Assignment #1Watching: Watch the episode “Where is Everybody,” the pilot episode for the series, embedded below (note, you’ll first see about 7 minutes of Rod Serling introducing potential sponsors to the program, which had yet to be picked up – feel free to skip this). As you watch, note when you find yourself connecting something in the episode to a situation or story from your life. Pay attention to these. Take note of them in some way as they may have something to teach you.

Kind Action: Consider people you know who may be feeling isolated in some way. What makes them isolated? Do they need help? How can you tell? Pick one you think would benefit from some kind of help and complete an action that intends to decrease her/his isolation. This need not be anything big; in fact, often it’s the smallest actions, the every day actions, that carry the most significance. After completing your action and if you are willing, please tell us your experience as a blog “comment” below.

Note, a short story version of this episode can be found in “Stories from the Twilight Zone.”

8 Comments

  1. Again a reminder that this series is sheer brilliance. The thing that stuck out to me the most were those moments when there appears to be something going on: the big band sound in the diner; the film starting in the theater; the burning cigar in the police station – and he just missed it. Always left out. No matter where he was he was missing out on what everyone else appeared to have experienced. Made me think that, if we are only looking for ourselves, we will not find much because our purpose is too small.
    Interesting also that the one cue he ignores is the church- the spirit, the soul. If we search without searching for our spirit – our soul – then the search is empty. We literally have to crash into ourselves to lead us to waking up.
    Finally, after first stating that he would never like to go back to that place again, the minute he sees the moon, the unattainable, he seems to have shifted to the challenge being greater than the need. Did he overcome fear or did he already forget and need to learn the lesson again? I could say that is what keeps us moving forward and that can be a good thing, however, what would it be like to accept where we are as exactly where we need to be? What would be wrong with peace of mind? The fear remains that without drive there is complacency and therefore a boring existence. I feel like this has been the biggest part of my journey towards finding true peace of mind. What if out greatest challenge is accepting who we are and where we are and allowing ourselves to be at peace? It actually sounds like a beautiful choice at this point in my life.
    Now time to pass the peaceful understanding on. Thanks, Andy.

  2. Yesterday, we had a ,large press conference for an announcement about our high school summer arts program. We are moving to a new home. The Governor was there, the president of the college, the president of our organization – a big deal. People were gathering for the conference and there was a woman standing apart from everyone, not really looking over the room, just standing. She seemed nervous. Her dress and hair were “funky awesome” but not the “norm” for the crowd and I got the feeling that she was overwhelmed. I went over to talk with her. It turns out that she was the orchestra teacher. We had a great conversation and then she moved right into the crowd and started talking to people. Sometimes it just takes one person to recognize that we are here to make the present situation safe. Do I know for sure that she was truly nervous and that having a person welcome her made a difference? No. But even if that wasn’t the case, I made a new friend yesterday. 🙂

  3. I remember this particular episode, but I did not remember the ending nor my reactions at the time. This time I was struck by how totally alone he was in this strange world he inhabited. We humans need companionship, connection, but we all face the loss of loved ones in our lives and that is a very difficult time for us. We are alone even though there are many who want to help, but they cannot begin to take the place of a spouse nor a sister. All we can do is listen and reach out to include them in life again when they are ready.

    I have two friends in our community, one of whom is 88 and lost his wife of 41 years a few weeks ago and a young woman who lost her 31 year old sister this week. I have tried to reach out to both of these people, but at the same time I do not want to be pushy nor get dragged down by their loss and unhappiness. I do not feel good about admiting that I worry about that. I think my heart is in the right place, but I have limited energy and time and both people have great needs. Bill lives alone. Vickie is far removed from her nieces who have just lost their mother plus her relationship with her mother is not a good one.

    We had Bill over for supper with a few neighbors two weeks ago, but I have not called since then. So today I telephoned to see if he was up to a visit. He suggested tomorrow would be better. So I will paddle over and have a beer with him. I am looking forward to being with him and finding out how he is doing and just letting him know I care and am there to listen.

    My other friend is in such a state of shock still that until today I have only communicated the way we often do via Facebook chat. She told me she had stopped over yesterday. But we away all day. This afternoon she and her husband (who lost his father about three months ago) came and we al four talked. They needed to share what was happening and perhaps it was easier to share with someone who was a friend but not so close to their personal tragedies. I felt good about being there for them. I hope they recieved some solace just knowing that we really care about them and what happens to them.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement Carrie. I went over to Bill’s yesterday and we had a wonderful visit. We sat on his porch where there was a wonderful breeze and looked out over his yard with flowers in bloom and cardinals at his bird feeder. We played with his dog Patches, who loves to have his soft toys thrown out to catch. He brings them back and makes a little game of tug out of letting go so you can throw it again. Bill was honest and open but not overly depressed and I must say, I don’t know who enjoyed the visit the most. I was so glad I went. I went away happy and feeling good.

  4. There are two elderly women in my neighborhood that live across the street from each other. I stopped to chat with one of them on my walk past their homes. They both lost their husbands of many years a couple of years ago. She admitted that she is very lonely and wonder about the people who walk by and don’t stop to say hello. Well, I was there for an hour. Linda mentioned that she worries about the time people take who are in need. I do too. I support my niece and her daughter and work a very busy job and take care of my home by myself. I have no free time. But I will try to make some time. I know loneliness. It is not fun. This elderly woman is still growing a garden but the deer ate her green beans. She gave me zucchini. I will take her some green beans.

    1. Deb, if you let the woman know, perhaps when you give her some green beans, what your schedule is like, she will probably not expect long visits. I think it is not the time, but the thought the visit reflects that is important. Sometimes, I try to have my excuse ready before I go, so I can leave within my time frame. I think because I am retired, it is not always easy to say goodbye to people that you know are lonely, but with Bill it was easy. Because I knew him for about three years before his wife died and never stayed long, he picks up on cues very well, such as “Tommy should be back from the grocery now, wondering what happened to me.”

      I am sure you will be able to find a way to make shorter visits and still fit her in once in awhile. There were times when Bill’s wife was still alive that I did not see them for two months, but right now I know he is more fragile, so I try to make contact of some sort about every two weeks. Glad you made the effort and hope that you get something from the exchange also. I am confident she was pleased that you stopped.

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