Well, today is allegedly the end of the world or something. I know, can you believe I’m jumping on that bandwagon? Just to be clear, I’m not inclined to believe in the significance of a really old stone indicative of anything more than someone had a clever idea on how to organize time periods. Of course the whole thing got me thinking about this whole end of the world business.
An awfully big number of people believe the world is likely to end in their lifetime, such the belief in one’s own importance. Personally, I hope not because I have a hard time conjuring up a scenario that isn’t the world’s biggest pain in the ass. Ice or fire; a vengeful Jesus or equally vengeful Shiva; hostile aliens or well meaning but disastrously incompetent aliens; asteroid or super duper volcano; or of course just us being the usual gang of idiots we tend to be. None of it sounds like anything I really need to bear witness to, and I will be really annoyed if any of it involves my corpse becoming reanimated for some reason, unless I’m decidedly not in there, in which case, have at it. I’m more than happy to contribute to a zombie apocalypse as long as no one is expecting me to do anything.
Those who are betting the farm that the end is nigh, and probably soon, tend to strongly act as if. They get rid of their possessions, try and let everyone else know about it, and sometimes even commit suicide. I never really got the last one. If they think they are going to kick it anyway, why not wait a bit and get to see something really cool? It really would be the chance of a lifetime and now they’ll have to hang out for eternity with everyone around them going on and on about how awesome it was. Trust me, everyone who leaves the game early to beat the crowd always regrets it when the big play comes right as they are gleefully dusting off their car in the parking lot. Let’s be honest though, the end is nigh crowd is a definite minority. A fun one to be sure, but they tend not to socialize with the likes of me and you.
In the middle of all this are the half-assed end of the world crowd. They don’t really believe in the whole imminent doom thing, but instead like to point out the rapid decline of civilization. They firmly believe that this is your fault. Yes, you. Any difference between the way things are now, and how they were in their idyllic youth is a clear sign of decay and corruption. “Gays couldn’t get married in my day. America is in the toilet!” Of course we all know that gay marriage signifies nothing more than the inevitable invention of gay divorce, child support, and having to figure out how to do their taxes. Fortunately, the belief that change is evil doesn’t counter the certainly that change is as inevitable as the waiter leaving the check on your table and immediately going on a 3 hour break when you have tickets to Lewis Black. Well, they like to worry and grouch, and if it makes them happy, so be it. If they could maybe just stand over there while the inevitable goes by, that would be just super.
My personal stance is that I have no idea if the world is going to end, and if so, when. Yes, I realize in 5 billion years the sun will likely expand and engulf the earth, but I’m not really planning on being around for that. I recognize that even at this moment, some monumental event is itching to break loose and wipe us all out, but I could not be less concerned. We have to act as if we are here for the long haul. We can’t shuffle problems down the road thinking no one is going to have to worry about it anyway. We can’t delay moving forward with the important things in our life because “you never know” thinking. Acting as if gives us the freedom to empower ourselves with the notion that what we do matters to us, and those who come after. It’s really the only way to live.
Just in case the wheels really do come off the who shebang right as you finish reading this, please take a moment to savor the irony of having spent your last few moments gobbling up my crackpot ramblings.