So this post is going to be a little different than my typical fare, a little different than what I usually talk about in conversation or even how I usually feel about life. Still, this is a topic that’s been on my mind for the last few weeks, an idea that I first heard about last Spring but has come back to the front of my mind with some pretty sharp teeth. The operative question of the evening is: What happens if/when the world ends?
The question was first posed to me when I was listening to a random radio station in the south suburbs of Chicago while driving to visit a friend. I heard a talk radio show, rather obviously a religious broadcast of sorts, tell me that I had been lied to when I’d gone to church. You see, there’s a place in the Bible that talks about how Jesus’ return will be like a thief in the night, essentially taking everyone by surprise, that “no man knows the day or the hour,” that kind of thing that people raised in most churches have likely rather typically heard. Harold Camping and his followers at Family Radio believe otherwise. Their broadcasts and messages revolve around the idea that, based on numerology studies and whatnot, that Judgement Day will occur on May 21st, 2011. For those of you who aren’t numerology all-stars, he’s saying that it’s all over in 16 days.
Now, this is not going to be a post where I talk about my personal religious beliefs or try to convince anyone one way or the other about whether or not this will actually transpire. To be honest, I’ve got no idea. I’ve been pretty conflicted about a lot of things lately, and I suppose that if I talk about that stuff, it’ll be another time. But, seeing as this blog is about life reclamation and definition, I figure the idea has a very interesting concept behind it: If the world ends on May 21st, or any day before or after that, would I be okay with my life? This isn’t one of those “do you think you’d go to heaven” questions, because I don’t think that’s the right question to ask. But if I was hit by a bus, crashed a car, went into sudden cardiac arrest…whichever way it’s cut, life’s over. Operative question: Did I make life count?
To be honest, shoving the religious overtones of the doomsday question aside, I’ve spent some time thinking about whether or not I’ve been living my life in the best way possible. I’ve been home for almost two weeks and done virtually nothing to push me towards starting any of my business ideas or even garnering a job of any kind. (That’s kinda hard to focus on when the potential of cosmic oblivion is hanging overhead perpetually, but that’s not the point.) I’ve seen friends and family, but don’t feel like I’ve done much to enrich anyone’s life. I’ve sat at home, unemployed, and haven’t volunteered any time anywhere. And I live a stone’s throw away from our downtown, where I’m SURE there are volunteering opportunities. I’ve barely spent any time reading. Aside from these blogs and such, I’ve spent NO TIME writing. It’s kinda shameful. No, I stand corrected: It is shameful.
You know what makes heroes so significant? They do their best, try their hardest, keep swinging up until the buzzer EVERY TIME. No matter what the odds are, heroes find some sort of motivation to stay up and keep fighting until the last possible second. You see, with all the different religions and spiritual beliefs and all that stuff in the world, if even one of them is right, every action we take could just be part of a celestial egg timer ticking down the minutes until it’s all over. The threat of world’s oblivion could be hanging right there in the air, a shiny guillotine blade just waiting, waiting, waiting to drop. And it doesn’t have to be some big spiritual super power…all it has to be is one angry person who pushes the right red button and creates a brand new batch of nuclear holocaust for a section of the world. And if that’s the case, the real question is: what’s the point? Strides towards social progress, greater freedoms and happiness for people around us, trying to fulfill dreams and goals…
Heroes don’t need a reason other than what they know. They have the courage to do what they know is right. Dangerous logic, as what we “know” can become dogmatic. Still, I’m reminded of a George Bernard Shaw quote I read in Half the Sky, a book about combating women’s oppression worldwide:
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” – George Bernard Shaw