Are you doing anything special for The End? | Tish Gregory
By TISH GREGORY
Renton Reporter Commentary
January 12, 2012 · Updated 11:12 AM
I no sooner got my new 2012 calendar on the wall, when my brother asked me, “Are you prepared?” “Prepared for what?” I asked. He replied, “The end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012.”
I checked my pre-printed calendar to see if it was marked as a special event for 2012 - for surely something of that magnitude would be mentioned. But it wasn’t.
However, ever since then I began noticing the many articles, websites, documentaries, books, movies and media hype already alarming us of this prediction. Apparently the ancient Mayan “long count” calendar of 5,126 years runs out on that date. So they acted like it would be the end of the world, ignoring the possibility of buying a new one.
This is truly a feast for the media with two catastrophes in one year – a presidential election and an apocalypse. Frankly, I’m not sure I can tell the difference – but I digress.
Realistically, how do I prepare for such an event? For example, what should I wear on that date – black for mourning or light pastel colors to acknowledge a joyful life?
Should I continue paying my life insurance premiums, since there will be no benefactors left?
For sure I’ll cut back on purchasing too many “Forever” stamps from the post office.
And, the good news is I’ll be able to eat whatever I want this year without worrying if it will shorten my lifespan.
Unfortunately, many people and children are beginning to have anxiety attacks over this pending doom. There are many industrious and wealthy people building underground bunkers and apartments for their friends and relatives. And, of course, there a lot of shysters willing to prey on our fears and separate us from our money to help us prepare.
So, if I was convinced this was going to happen, how would I prepare?
I once had a manager who, in a fit of anger, swore at me. Humiliated and hurt by his profanity and anger, I got enough nerve to respond in kind – with profanity and anger.
Everyone heard the exchange and complete silence came over the room. Nothing more was said that afternoon and we all left for our Christmas break. A week later everyone returned, except one - my manager. He died over the holiday.
The shock of his death hit me very hard and all kinds of things went through my head. He hadn’t appeared to be ill, so what caused his death? Did my ugly words affect him? Are these the words I would say to someone if I knew it was their last day on earth?
His sudden death taught me a lesson. Sometimes the littlest things people do bother us and we make a big deal about it. I still get angry at times, but more often than not, I try to give the situation the litmus test.
Is this really that important that I should make an issue of it? What if it was their last day on earth? What if it was mine?
If we believe the media, that day is just 11 months away, or not.
The reality is that sooner or later, whether we die as a civilization in a single event with ample warning or we die alone, unexpectedly – that day will come.
So I’m not going to let the hype bother me or make any special plans this year. I’ll just pretend it’s everybody’s last year and be kinder, apply the litmus test more liberally, not sweat the small stuff and enjoy one day at a time.
I think if I do that, I’ll be prepared.
Tish Gregory is a free-lance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com