Thursday, December 20, 2012

20/12/2012 and the End of the World


By various yardsticks, today is a special day. It’s the last day of Autumn, the day before the Winter Solstice, the time of the shortest day and then the return to the light. It’s the day before my nephew’s birthday. It’s a once-in-human history 20/12/2012— that is, if you’re in Europe or South America or most of the world that puts the day first, then the month, then the year. In the U.S., it’s 12/20/2012. Which is also pretty interesting. (And just why do we do that differently from almost any other place?) And what was the other thing? Oh yeah, it’s the day before the end of the world.

I haven’t been following the Mayan news lately, but hey, we’ve been here before. The Apocalypse was supposed to happen in the year 1,000 AD and when it didn’t, it was called “The Great Non-Event.” I haven’t read it yet, but there’s a book called The Last Apocalypse: Europe at the Year 1000AD by James Reston. In a short synopsis, it says:

“The old order was crumbling, and terrifying and confusing new ideas were gaining hold in the populace.  Random and horrific violence seemed to sprout everywhere without warning, and without apparent remedy.  And, in fact, when the millennium arrived the apocalypse did take place; a world did end, and a new world arose from the ruins.”

Sound familiar? In the U.S. alone, take a look at the news:

Old order crumbling= Republican party.

Terrifying ideas= Climate change.

Confusing new ideas (for some)=Marriage based on love, not gender. Black man as two-term President of the United States. More women in Congress.

Random and horrific violence without warning= Sandy Hook.

A world did end and a new world arose from the ruins= The renewed determination from each of us to re-make the world with compassion, intelligence, kindness at the helm. In ourselves, our families, our schools, our neighborhoods, our politics, to end the tired old paradigms of greed, power and money and build something worthy of our children from the ruins.

Can we make this our private and collective vow in the New Year?

That is, if the world makes it that far. 

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