Since his first appearance on AMC’s The Walking Dead, “Doctor” Eugene Porter has been one of the quirkiest characters. His antics led to him becoming one of my favorites on the show. My fiancée and I were discussing him one day a couple of weeks ago, and I introduced her to another Eugene from back in the 80s.
It occurred to me that I could combine the two Eugenes and, within a week, the following video was born.
As with anything dealing with pop culture, SPOILERS AHEAD!
For anyone unfamiliar with Eugene, here’s a quick summary. He crossed paths with an ex-military man named Abraham. Weak, cowardly, yet intelligent, Eugene convinced Abraham that he was a scientist on a mission to get to Washington D.C., where he would be able to create a cure for the undead plague. As more people joined him and Abraham, Eugene continued playing the part of scientist by using his vast wealth of knowledge and extensive vocabulary. What was puzzling was that he was able to do this while looking nothing like a typical scientist. Which, as it turns out, he wasn’t.
After completing the video project, I realized there were three things I learned from Eugene.
1. Be true to myself.
Eugene is an expert at this. From his Tennessee top hat to his cargo shorts, Eugene is a man who knows who he is and he’s comfortable with that. He dresses how he likes and has made perfectly clear that no one will be damming up his Kentucky waterfall. But it’s not just his outer self that Eugene is true to. He’s fully aware of how smart he is and has no problems admitting it. Actually, he sometimes admits it too freely and too often. He’s also honest with himself about his cowardice, and he’s willing to do anything it takes to avoid danger.
2. Be true to others.
Eugene is not so good with this one. From the moment he first meets Abraham, Eugene pretends he’s something he’s not so that he can survive and be accepted. Telling that lie was easy. Maintaining that lie proved tougher.
In order to keep up the lie, Eugene had to shoot a truck, blow up a bus, and wreak general havoc in trying to slow his group down. The longer it took to get to their destination, the longer he could keep up the lie. People died trying to help him fulfill his “mission.” The funny thing is, I believe that if Eugene had just been honest and told them he was a smart guy who could probably come up with some solutions in D.C., Abraham and the others might still have helped him. Lying set Eugene on a course for disaster. As Shakespeare said, “at the length truth will out.”
3. Be true to my mission.
Eugene stayed true to his mission, but it was the wrong mission. It was a mission based on falsehoods and it was destined to fail.
I find it easy to make decisions about where I want to go and what I want to do, but if I’m not true to myself or to others, my mission will fail. My mission for this year is wrapped around the word “COMPLETE,” but I’ve realized that it’s not enough to want to complete things. I need to complete the right things.