The World Didn’t End... Now What?


The Mayans are not accepting any claims of fraud because they never predicted that the world was going to end on December 21, 2012. This civilization had three calendars, and one of them was called “The Long Count” and it was exactly that: A very, very long count calendar that started on August 11, 3114 BC and ended on December 21, 2012. It was much like our calendar which starts on the first of January and ends on the 31st of December and then starts all over again. Thus, it appears that we’ll still have this world through 2013. What are we going to do with it?

What should concern us far more than the end of this world, is the end of our world. Each one of us lives in a small universe that is shaped by our territory, our social circles and our time. It is a million times more likely that our world will end at any given time, even if no ancestral civilization predicted it. In fact, our world is so very fragile that the smallest distraction while driving, a heart attack or choking on a piece of food may end it at any time—something we rarely consider.

Think back to when you were eight years old and you were at the park playing with your friends. When night started to fall, your mother would call you, urging you to return home and you begged her to let you play a little longer. “Please, please, please, mom,” you insisted. Sometimes your mother agreed and allowed you to play for ten more minutes. Do you remember how that felt? Did you sit at the farthest bench to mope about the fact that your playtime was about to end and how unfair and frustrating that was? Or did you, instead, run off to play taking maximum advantage of those precious ten minutes? Surely it was the latter and surely those last moments were the ones you enjoyed the most.

To live with the certainty that our world is going to end at any given time is no reason to live in fear and spend the remaining time here worrying or sad. To be conscious about the frugality of our world would be as if every morning we wake up, our mother is giving us another ten minutes to play in the park. To wake up each morning is a gift that we should embrace by running towards life; living the day with the utmost intensity, enjoying every instant because those ten minutes, literally, may be the last ones of our lives.

We live our lives on autopilot. We go about thinking that our world is eternal, fixed and that time will always be ours. We take tomorrow for granted and assume that all the things we enjoy will be there for us once again. We have no doubt that the people we love will be there, within grasp or just a phone call away. But our worlds, these little universes in which we live, have an end and no calendar–Mayan or any other–can tell us when it will be.

Today, you hold your delicious cup of coffee in your hands. You watch the trees sway back and forth. You are surrounded by the people you love. But, if you knew that your world would end tomorrow, would you drink that warm cup of coffee differently? Probably raising it slowly to your lips, appreciating how the steam rises from it, smelling its strong aroma and then drinking it in small sips savoring every last drop with your eyes closed. What would you do if you drove by a park crowded with trees knowing that you wouldn’t live to see another? More than likely, you would stop. You would get out of your car and walk among the trees, marveling at their height and observing their multiple colors and enjoying the textures and sounds that surrounded you. What would you say to your loved ones before going to sleep if you knew that you would not wake up the next day? Possibly change your cold, “Good night, don’t forget to turn off the light!” for a warm hug and a meaningful, “I love you, you are the most important thing in my life.”

For the majority of us, not only did the world not end on the December 21st, but our world did not end this morning either. Were you aware of that? Are you thankful for it? Today, you have ten more minutes to play. Go out and make use of them wisely.


Winter 2013
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