Friday, December 21, 2012

What if...

Less than one week after the senseless killing of teachers and students at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, CT the Internet-connected world turned its attention to the non-existent Mayan Apocalypse. People waited with bated breath for the world to spontaneously combust. Some went far enough to prepare doomsday kits. I think that deep down inside we all knew it wasn't going to happen. If the Mayans were that good at predicting the future, you'd think they could have predicted their own eventual slaughter by encroaching Europeans.

Now that the fanfare has died down and we're all still floating around on this big, blue marble maybe now is the time to ask the ever important question "what if?" What if the world ended today? What if YOUR world ended today? What if you and a bus try to occupy the same space at the same moment and you inevitably lose that battle?

Are you content with your station in life? Have you chosen your battles wisely? Have you invested your energy into the causes that will profit you? Profit, in this case, is defined as whatever is most fulfilling to you - be it money, spirituality, love, family, etc. In the wake of a week's worth of news about topics of sudden loss I think we should all realize that the only thing that's certain is that it all goes away at some point.

I'm not trying to be morbid here. I'm trying to let the sunlight in, actually. We all came to terms with mortality post-9/11 and then we forgot. Over the last decade we have had reminders that were subtler nudges than that violent shove on a sunny September day. We need some shaking up I think.

We're severing friendships over partisan ideologies. We're attacking each other over tax rates. We get angry at the most successful people and spend more time feeling sorry for ourselves for not being like them instead of actually trying to be. We protest funerals and embrace an eye for an eye mentality and many do it in the name of a higher power. We blame all of our problems on elected officials that, for all their faults, took that plunge while this country slips into a pit deep enough to be worthy of the words of Dante. For these folks to get there we don't praise the strengths of those we align with; we assassinate the character of those we don't.

There is no indication that it will get better before it gets worse.

So, when the timer goes off and you have a split second to look backwards, what will you do? Will you smile at what you've accomplished or gasp at what you haven't? Will you find peace or remorse in your approach to relationships? Remember, you may not even get that split second so if you want to prepare for the end; leave the bunker, empty the bug out bag and craft a life that satisfies you. Try being proactive instead of reactive. For the sake of our future, I hope we learn from our past.

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