Why we really worry about the end of the world

It’s the end of the world!

You have probably heard that phrase a few times this year/month/week already, haven’t you?

Don’t worry. This blog post is certainly not about those pesky Mayans and their incomplete calendar. For a civilization that had packed up and left in the ninth century already, they have certainly been getting a lot of coverage this year.

What’s the weather forecast for tomorrow?

It’s impossible to turn on the TV or read a headline without being reminded about the impending doom surrounding this day, the 21st December 2012. It’s everywhere!

Of course, most people joke about it. My Facebook news feed is full of wisecracks about the end of the world. Other people are slightly more nervous. They stock up on bottled water and cans of baked beans in concrete-reinforced basements. Some pray.

The point is, everybody is talking about it.

The end is nigh

What if the world really ended today?

Think about it for a second. Imagine it was all really going to end at, say, a quarter past four (Central African Time) this afternoon.

What would you be doing right now? Who would you want to be with? Who would you call? Would you be satisfied with your achievements, your contribution, your relationships, your effort? What would your regrets be?

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Maybe not today

This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

T.S. Eliot

The good news is that the world is not ending today.

Not today.

But someday it will be the end of the world. Or your world, at least. Whether the world ends or whether your world ends, it’s all the same to you, isn’t it?

The best – and by that I mean worst – part is you don’t even get a heads-up on when that day will be. It will just kind of … happen. Unexpectedly.

How are you going to leave your world? With a whimper?

Or you can decide to go out with a bang

“But how do I go out with a bang”, I hear you ask. “I’m already so busy”, I hear you say.

Try harder.

There’s no magic here. Just decide to make more of what you have with the time you have left.

Do more of what you would have done if the world was really ending today. Spend more quality time with those you would have wanted to be with if the world was really ending today. Do something you’ll be proud of, make a bigger contribution, focus on the important relationships and make more of an effort. Don’t do anything – knowingly – that you’ll regret the day your world ends.

Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re trying to be better, not perfect.

A perfect poem is impossible. Once it had been written, the world would end.

Robert Graves

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2 Responses to “Why we really worry about the end of the world”

  1. aterblanche December 21, 2012 at 23:28 #

    Interesting blog. Food for thought.

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