The world is not ending, so get over it. The world will not come to an end on May 21st, 2011. The world will not come to an end on October 21st, 2011. The world will not come to an end on December 21th, 2012. I say these things with confidence. I am not, however, attempting to demean anyone’s belief system.
If you believe the world is going to end on any one of those dates, and you are looking forward to that event, you will be disappointed. Don’t blame me. I have no control over it. However, personally, I am glad the world is not going to end anytime soon.
Lest I be labeled arrogant, how is it that I am so sure the world is not going to end soon? It is because I accept scientific models which offer what might, indeed, lead to the end of life on earth as we know it. A world ender, for example, could take place if a hefty sized asteroid hit the earth.
What’s the probability of a really big asteroid hitting the world within the next 100 or so years? From my reading – and admittedly this is not the type of stuff I spend a lot of time reading about – the chances are very, very small.
Outside of the world being hit by a sizeable asteroid, a large-scale thermonuclear war could wipe out a major portion of civilization. Still, as unimaginably horrific as that event would be, I believe there is evidence to point out that life, post world-nuclear-war, would go on. Humanity and human beings are resilient, very resilient.
There are arguments saying we are quickly destroying our environment. There is focus on global warming. A good number of respected scientists believe those types of things could eventually bring civilization down.
Minding our environment is important. Not destroying our ecosystem is important. Are we doing all we can in those departments? Not by a long shot.
That said, I think enough people are convinced and are becoming convinced about the need to protect our ecological system so we will save ourselves before it is too late. We need to do far more than we are doing, but I do not believe we are on a one way ticket to demise and doom. At least not yet.
Frankly, I believe the doomsday folks, those who see the end of the earth just in sight, are dabbling in a bit of perverse wishful thinking. Mix a tough economy, a lack of good jobs, a difficult credit climate, rising food and energy costs, etc. with strife and war in many parts of the world and I can see how some folks might want to believe the world will end and end soon.
If the world ends next week, you won’t need to worry about your credit card score being dragged down by a late payment. You don’t need to worry about your home or car payment. You don’t need to worry about anything. Adopting a “the world is ending” mindset can give a sense of relief to those of us plagued with the anxieties that come from living in an uncertain world. Of course, that relief will disappear when you wake up to find the world keeps on keeping on.
The way I see it, believing in the imminent end of the world, or not, is a kind of Rorschach test demonstrating whether you are an optimist or a pessimist. Personally, I am optimistic about a few things: 1.) The world is not going to end any time soon. 2.) Lots of what is wrong with the world are things we can fix. 3.) Whatever the state of our lives, we can make our lives better.
I am not an eschatologist – a person involved in the study of the ultimate future of humanity – but I do believe we can all do more to make life in this world more worthwhile. To me, focusing on the imminent end of the world is a sort of suicide fantasy. The thought being, “I won’t be here so I needn’t worry.” Frankly, if we would all start doing more, we could all start worrying less.
The world will go on. It is up to us to improve and protect it.
You can reach me with your questions and comments at Jay@CYinterview.com Like today’s column? Check back frequently.