I’m not much one for apocalypse theories, but just in case the end of the world is coming in a few weeks, here are some final thoughts before we all perish in an entropic cataclysm that engulfs the planet.
First on my list – How are those 2012 New Year’s resolutions coming along?
Have you lost that 30 pounds yet? You still have some time before 2013 (or the apocalypse, whichever comes first). But at this point, I think hitting the gym might be out of the cards for you; don’t worry, there’s always liposuction. Maybe you’re in the small percentage of Americans who don’t need to lose weight, so you resolved instead to learn a new instrument. There’s not a lot of time left to master the shofar (the ram horn used in traditional Jewish ceremonies) or the Bach Double for violins. But any good critic can still appreciate the musical value of a talented Kazoo player; that ought to get the job done for ya.
Next – let’s really work hard in these next couple weeks to mend broken relationships. “Relationships” doesn’t just mean boyfriend/girlfriend; it includes everything, your relationships with your family, your friends, your pet rock, etc. It’s so easy to let good friendships fall apart at the seams. A simple argument or a minor fight can turn into a big falling out. The world is ending here, people. Don’t let petty differences get in the way of something great like friendship.
In the past couple weeks, even I have been challenged to overcome obstacles to maintain friendships; but I asked myself, “What would Jesus do?” So I determined to forgive and move on. And in that same spirit of Christ, I also determined I will rise from the dead three days after the apocalypse. Come at me, Armageddon.
Another thing that’s smart to think about is how you will be spending your final weeks. If you’re the romantic type, then you might go the “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” route and try to find a compatible other with whom to enjoy the time. But unless you find Keira Knightley, like Steve Carell did, then I hardly think this option is worth your time.
Personally, I’m an adventure-seeker. If I had the money, I would spend it climbing mountains and skydiving. But since I don’t, I’ll probably just stay in Cleveland, finish my schoolwork and seek out adventure here. YOLO, right? (Or maybe a more appropriate term is “YOSABADADO”- You only suffer a bleak and dreary apocalyptic death once.)
Now, the way in which the apocalypse might come is an important thing to consider as well. If it looks like it’s going to rain frogs or be a plague of locusts, then I’m switching religions, because I believe my God is creative enough to not re-use apocalypses He tried in the Old Testament.
Ultimately, I really don’t think the end is nigh. I think the creators of the Mayan calendar only had so much room on their circular calendar, so they just ended it and thought, “Boy, this is really going to mess with people some day.” I’ve heard that if you actually understand their calendar, though, Dec. 21 only marks the end of a cycle, not the end of the world; another cycle begins after the current one ends.
But maybe it’s good that this whole doomsday thing is getting so much attention. We really do need to take a step back and evaluate the world in which we live. There are countries not far from here that would welcome an entourage of locusts if it meant an end to their current problems. Genocide, poverty, hunger, exploitation of natural resources… these are just a few of the real-life issues that real-life people deal with everyday.
Whether you’re a person for whom December marks the last month of existence or it just marks the Christmas season, take these next couple weeks to reflect on how you have lived your life. Just like your New Year’s resolutions, there’s still time to “be the change you want to see in the world,” as Gandhi said. So if the world does end in 15 days, you’ll be prepared. And if it doesn’t, then you can be one of the leaders of the new Mayan “cycle.” You can be one of the adventure seekers and light bearers; you can be one of the workers for justice; you can help usher in a new era of respect, compassion, and the occasional amphibian precipitation.