Friday, December 21, 2012

Welcome to the New Age

Just a shout out to the whole world today on this December 21, 2012. For centuries, humanity has tried to predict its own demise. Today, end of an era or not, we are still here. Perhaps we need to take on faith that we don't know the day or the hour, after all.

The significance of the completion of the Mayan long count calendar, if any, has yet to be determined. Today, we are consumers, and we generate 12-month calendars and recycle them at the end of the year. Why it was important to develop the long calendar, I can only speculate, and no better than anyone else (especially not better than actual students of historical culture).

The tiny, highly-focused, autistic-sympathetic creature in my brain makes me think that back then someone just really got into this calendar thing, and it's just as much art as it is calculation. At some point it just felt like a finished work, which no doubt feels significant to anyone. The danger of such a lasting piece of history with such implied finality of an era is the part of our paranoid humanity that looks to know when our end will come.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

It would be a beautiful thing if the end of this 13th Baktun signified an end to mindless speculation and fear mongering. When the world propagates fear, it propagates violence, ignorance, destruction, stagnation, and other crises. We have the power to maintain fear, but also the power to overcome it, to be sensible, educated, peaceful, and forward-thinking. Progress is won by our active choice to challenge fear. What is the meaning of life, if not to progress? If we can't fathom the meaning of life in our time, hope moves us to believe in the future. We believe in our children. We believe in our advancements in society and sciences. If we can believe in a better tomorrow and picture it in our minds, together we can develop stepping stones to achieving that image.

Preachy right? I won't apologize. Personally I feel that now more than ever, we need solidarity in believing in humanity's potential for greatness. Why not? We can argue about how to define greatness, but who can argue with the universal desire to fit those definitions, if only to surpass them?

Some people who spread fear are afraid themselves and feel a need for others to share in their anxieties, when the real comfort should instead come from a unified, collaborative pursuit of progress. However, there are people in the world who have determined that progress is unnecessary and that existence is meaningless. For those who can not hope, who find life to be pointless, you are not alone, but you are in a niche group, and you like everyone have a right to your opinion. We all have our place in the world, and terrorism of any nature is unwarranted and wrong, whether big or small, mental or physical. If you can at least recognize the potential for human goodness, you can see the morality in allowing that potential to exist, simply by acknowledging others and embodying a respectful openness that many people in the world do believe that life has a purpose (even if we don't know explicitly what that purpose is, yet).

Live and let live. Treat others as you'd like to be treated. The show must go on.

With the holidays right around the corner, I'd just like to wish everyone all the very best, no matter what you celebrate (or don't). As for me, I'll be celebrating Christmas with my family, enjoying our traditions, playing with my nieces and nephews, and forgetting all about fear.