In the ever growing lexicon of online extraterrestrial invasion material, there are several points that films get entirely right and a few that seem overwhelmingly wrong. The reactions people give in alien invasion literature is rarely the same as they would in Earthquake scenarios (such as seen after the Chilean Earthquake), foreign invasion films (such as Red Dawn) and massive catastrophes we have all had to react to in our own lifetimes. But what emotions should we expect, and how would a person with the human race in mind react in such an event?
Much in the vein of the Zombie Survival Guide, there are many people who have asked questions about alien invasion as well given it is one of the most all encompassing massive disaster topics that is in the public mind. And just as people have explored their own psyche through putting themselves through speculative disaster scenarios, alien invasion survival skills are an exploration of the human experience just as much as zombie survival skills. And while most of us agree that a Hollywood style alien invasion isn’t likely to be big news tomorrow, an ever increasing culture suggesting alien arrival might be in our future says the emotions seen play out in movie theaters might be less alien than we think.
The first emotion traditionally listed in these scenarios is fear. Fear of the unknown is a very visceral and basic human emotion. It goes beyond our basic fear of death and hardship and touches the very face of concepts such as eternity and whether the universe is truly a hostile or friendly place. After this fear, all other emotions take a turn to the backseat. During a time such as an alien invasion there would be a moment of shock and even in some cases dismissal or denial.
First, it’s important in each situation where a world changing bit of information comes to you to take stock of yourself and your place in the world. If others are depending on you, don’t abandon them and drift into your own world. Find time for yourself when you can, but in the first moments, take stock of your situation and assess how well you would be able to help others. In films we often see people reacting with shock and looting locations indiscriminately in fear that the world is about to come to an end. If a hostile alien force of any nature were to outright attack the world, the first few moments of shock and awe might be an important hint at their capabilities. If civilization still stands to witness the first arrival, it’s unlikely everything on the planet will vaporize seconds later.
Sincerity, familiarity, friendship, and trust would be incredibly important in times like these. Just as we have seen dozens of times before in the past, disasters and natural catastrophes work to bring people together and strengthen personal relationships just as powerfully as they serve to divide them. With calm comes closer bonds, and with terror comes division. If those around you wish to talk about the event, they aren’t necessarily looking for answers. They more likely want to just talk about the event.
And helping others is a way to take back control in the event of an unparalleled and unexplained disaster. Help would likely be needed as many would find themselves unable to continue day to day work in light of the initial attack or revelation, so in addition to helping ensure the world continues to function around you volunteering will allow you to feel like the world hasn’t completely gone crazy. You’ll be surprised by where and how you find rational people who want the world to continue and will volunteer their own labor and guidance to ensure it.
Obviously an alien invasion would leave several questions unanswered. And while it’s unlikely we’ll see anything like this any time soon, the exploration in your own psyche of what you would do in such an event might bring you to some interesting conclusions about who you are deep down.