2012 is Coming: What Are You Doing About It?

by Nora Dunn on 18 April 2008 25 comments

The end of the Mayan calendar. Global Warming. Asteroids hitting the earth. Terrorism. The magnetic poles switching. Super volcanoes blowing. The earth’s axis wobble completing. The sun reaching the centre of the galaxy.

A perfect storm of events, many of which are prophesized to occur on the very day of winter solstice: December 21st, 2012.

There are a number of clues and theories being tossed around to support the idea that December 21st, 2012 may mark the “end of days”. Simply turn on the television, search the internet, or read the papers and you’ll find a plethora of information to this effect.

 

These projections could well be supportable, or not. There are just as many articulate doomsday theories as there are legitimate cases for the world continuing on status quo after 2012.

 

The question is: who do you choose to believe?

 

 

Do you believe the prophecies?

If you do, then the world as we know it is ending or changing unpredictably and unequivocally in just over four years. What are you doing now? How are you living your life so that you have no regrets when the ultimate Judgment Day falls upon you? What will the next four years of your life look like?

Maybe you don’t like your job. Will you go after that dream job with everything you have because you have nothing to lose? And if you do, where will that dream take you? Is it possible that it could lead you to greater success and happiness than you ever imagined?

Maybe you don’t like where you live. Will you open up the map and pick a place you’ve always wanted to visit or live because you want to enjoy the rest of your days in your own paradise? And what will that look like? How will your life change by virtue of you changing your surroundings and living in the most fulfilling place for the next (your last?) four years?

Maybe you aren’t happy with your current relationship with family members. Will you end that unhealthy marriage, or finally suggest seeing a counselor in an effort to regain happiness for the last four years of your life? Will you make an effort to mend bridges with your estranged kids or parents, the hopes of rebuilding a foundation of love and support?

Maybe you aren’t as altruistic as you’d like to be. Will you sell everything and move to a place where have-nots are struggling to survive, and stand shoulder to shoulder with them in search of the better life? Will you improve the last four years of their lives?

Maybe you’ll do that skydive you’ve yearned for but been scared to follow through on. Maybe you’ll buy a motorcycle and fly along the coastal roads you’ve only seen in your nighttime dreams. And maybe – just maybe – you’ll find yourself in a completely different place you had ever imagined yourself being on December 21st 2012, and feeling something you never anticipated or understood – true happiness and no regrets.

 

But…

Then again, maybe you’ll wake up on December 22nd, 2012, realizing the world didn’t implode as predicted. Maybe you’ll be penniless and naked on some beach in Argentina with the hangover of a lifetime. Will you be happy? If not, how will you pick up the pieces of the life you shattered and move forward?

 

Do you not believe the prophecies?

If you don’t believe the doomsday predictions, then there is no reason to change a thing. Maybe you are planning for a long prosperous life prudently and responsibly.

Maybe you are happy with your job and career. Or not quite happy per se, but satisfied enough with your routine, taking comfort in the knowledge that it will provide the kind of future you are looking for – be it promotions, a comfortable retirement, or just a decent paycheck.

Maybe you like where you live. Sure it may not be ideal, but real estate in the area will take off shortly and you want to see the price of your home grow in value. Or real estate in the area will recover shortly and once you recoup your loss of equity since you made the purchase you can sell your home and move somewhere more satisfying.

Maybe you are happy with your current family relationships. You & your spouse are still like honeymooners, and you speak with your parents/kids regularly. You communicate honestly and healthily, and provide and receive a level of support that is nurturing and compliments your personality. Or you don’t, but the relationships you are in serve their purpose, and are good “for now”. You can work on improving, changing, or ending these relationships a little later in life when it’s more convenient.

Maybe you give to charity regularly and volunteer your time for worthy causes. Or you don’t quite yet, but you will as soon as you get your business to the point where you’ll have enough time to. Soon.

Maybe you’d like to skydive, and get that motorcycle, but you have a few things on your plate first to take care of. You are waiting for your next pay raise to finish paying off that pesky debt, you are waiting for the kids to get a little older, you are waiting for the mortgage to be paid off, or you are just plain waiting. “Tomorrow ,” you say.

 

But…

What happens if tomorrow really doesn’t come? Will you plod through the next four years of your life making ends meet, planning for and promising yourself a better life “later”, only to discover with horror that “later” never comes? How will you feel on December 21st, 2012, when you realize you can’t take it with you?

 

 

 

Living life with wanton disregard for the future (financially and otherwise) is a death sentence, whether or not the world will come to a crashing end in four years. There is nobody to plan your future but you, and if you don’t take responsibility for your actions now and later, you will most certainly find unhappiness at some point in life.

A friend once said to me “being young and poor is romantic. Being old and poor is just sad.” And I can’t agree more.

 

But living life with no regard for the hum-drum existence you are in today, just because you don’t have the perceived ability to change things, or because you are convinced that tomorrow things will be better, is also a death sentence. You will become a walking zombie, and if you get hit by that proverbial bus tomorrow, your friends and family will only be able to say “it’s too bad they never saw Greece – it was a dream of theirs, but there was always some reason why they couldn’t go”. Or you manage to make it to your long-planned-for retirement – when things are supposed to be all better – and you realize that with your new physical and medical issues you can’t travel, or ride a motorcycle, or otherwise live that dream life you planned for during your soul-sucking working career. The remaining 30 years of your life become a prison in which you can’t do anything you worked an entire lifetime to enjoy. You find yourself waiting and planning for tomorrow – because there’s nothing to live for today and maybe tomorrow will be different.

 

 

You can’t always have your cake and eat it too. Sometimes we all have to suck it up and deal with a little pain now for a whole lot of gain later. Hedonism is not practical. Neither is martyrdom.

 

So what do you choose to believe? Will the world as we know it end on December 21st, 2012? Maybe. Maybe not.

 

But…what if?

 

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

25 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture
Lucille

I think all those end of the world prophecies are nonsense and exist to scare the poop out of people and keep them religiously compliant.

You can have happiness in the here and now even if your circumstances are not perfect by being in the moment instead of perpetually unhappy and only living for "more".

That doesn't mean you should not have plans or goals. They just should not be the basis of your existence.

I know this one guy that is just sure Jesus is coming and it is going to happen in 2007. Well the last time I talked to him that was the date he was getting told at church. He said he was doing everything he could to hasten it including supporting more and more war around the world. He saw wasting gas as hastening the second coming.

So there certainly ARE people where the idea of the end of the world can be a tad destructive to your psyche.

Guest's picture
Mike2

12/12/12 is a pretty neat date, but people have been saying that stuff for a long time about a lot of different dates. I think when I have kids they aren't even going to believe that my generation got so worked up about Y2K.

I get the idea, though: you should make the best of each day, because for all we know the world could end on 12/12/12. Fair enough. I think you are right.

Guest's picture
Sandeep Goswami

Great way to make people stand-up and start thinking/making hopefully positive changes in thier lives...Great Article!

Guest's picture
The Cody

Misinterpretation. This age will end, ushering in a new, golden age; not the end of the world. Or, conversely, the calendar will restart; not the end of the world.

http://www.experiencefestival.com/mayan_calendar
http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/converg.html
http://www.breakthroughcelebration.com/btc-breakthrough-celebration-proc...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesoamerican_Long_Count_calendar#Refutation

It's too late to look up more. Search on google, read some books. Blah blah, stuff. I did a lot of research of this a few years ago for a concept album. The rest of the band rejected the idea, so the research is archived somewhere in the bowels of hundreds of gigs of unsorted data.

Guest's picture
Dwight

I once thought about how my life would change if I won the lottery. I do more bicycle touring. I spend more time exercising, reading, working on hobbies, paying attention to spiritual things...

Then, I realized that I could be doing all that right now, to some extent.

Guest's picture
Guest

Mike2, it's not 12-12-2012. It's 12-21-2012.

Guest's picture
Lynn

I don't think it is to be taken literally that the world will end. I think it is more a matter of the world *as we know it now* will end at that time. Just as the bible and dreams aren't to be taken literally, so to is this prophecy not to be taken literally but symbolically. We need to change our beliefs and worldview if we are to continue past 2012.

Guest's picture
Guest

I would suppose if you believe in this you might have some knowledge of the Bible. Well, what about the "thief in the night" business - we won't know, according to the Bible. What about going to hell if you follow false prophets? That is what this end of the world business is. Anyone who says they can predict would be consider a false prophet--highway to hell, baby.

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm always amazed at the disparity between how far we have come in some areas and how little has changed in others.

Despite the rapid pace of discovery, technological advances and the dramatic increase in our collective knowledge base people still believe in ghouls and goblins. Whether it is someone spewing nonsense about some mythical being at the center of a religion or so called prophets proclaiming the end of mankind is mere moments away I have to laugh at how completely ignorant we have remained.

But hey.... if believing in some kind of spiritual world dominated by gods and demons or placing faith in prophets, psychics, astrology, numerology or the existence of big foot makes your life more fulfilling... more power to ya.

Guest's picture

Ahh. To me this post is not so much about a prophecy but of the never ending financial conflict of enjoying your money now or save for later. And as with everything else in life, it is a matter of balance.

Guest's picture
H

The people who are debating whether or not doomsday prophecies are 'nonsense' have sadly missed the point of an excellent article - Nora is using the example of the world ending on 21 December 2012 as a device to help you examine your perspective, not positing it a as a forthcoming event. Reading for meaning is your friend, as is developing an appreciation of subtlety.

Great post, Nora, and thank you.

Guest's picture
Cindy M

As a serious King James bible believer (and yes, tons of us take that book very literally), I'm compelled to add my 2 cents here, not worth much, of course. I want to say up front that I don't identify in any way with the TBN crowd of charasmatic pentecostal goofballs; those people shameful charlatans and liars who make Christianity look so foolish these days.

The Mayan calendar/2012 business is just more of the same ancient gnostic stuff that will never go away; the same old concept that some humans are "special" and have visions that mean something. It just ain't so, and I personally find this very comforting and sensible. We're told very straight in scripture, Acts 10:34, that God is "NO respecter of persons," meaning nobody is special, we're all in the same boat, all on the same level, all lost and in need of a saviour. That saviour has already come and gone, by the way, and will return again one day for His own. You want to RUN away from anybody who says he or she is having visions and ALL datesetters. The bible is a finished work. You decide (free will) to believe what it says or you don't; you don't get to pick the good stuff and throw out what is distasteful. To do that, you MUST understand the concept of dispensations as mentioned in Hebrews 1:1, that "God in sundry times and in diverse manners spake"; that not everything said in that book is meant for you personally. This is referred to as "rightly dividing the word of truth," II Timothy 2:15. Doctrine is essential to a serious believer.

Guest's picture
Sean

The end of the world came for the Mayans a long time ago.

Mark P. Cussen's picture

Great article, Nora! Even though I completely agree with the post by Cindy M, you've still inspired me to wake up naked, penniless and hung over on a beach in Argentina. (lol) You are one of the most courageous and unique people I know. I always enjoy your articles!

Mark P. Cussen, CFP, CMFC

Kate Luther's picture

If I manage to wake up naked and penniless on a beach in Argentina, I'll be happy because I must've had a helluva time :) Assuming of course, that there's no embarrasing video of my escapades out there somewhere!

I tell my kids every day - life is short. It goes by in a flash. And every day, every moment, every single experience is exactly what you make it. You choose.

Great post!

Guest's picture
Michael

This is the date of my 10th anniversary. I have to wonder if I can skip getting my wife an anniversary gift. If I can just avoid her long enough on that date... Then again, my world would probably come to an end anyhow if I didn't get her something :-).

Guest's picture
Mark

That being said. That beach deal sounds like a package I could sign up for. It was a long winter in upstate Ny.

Guest's picture
Rick Francis

>Will the world as we know it end on December 21st, 2012
Note to self- wait to do Christmas shopping until Dec 22nd in 2012.

More seriously, I don't believe any end of the world predictions, so I thought I would really hate this article-

The article does make an excellent point -all of us do face an end of our lives at some unknown time in the future. Because it is unknown it's important to strike a balance between today and tomorrow. To coin a new financial term- life benefit averaging.

-Rick Francis

Nora Dunn's picture
Nora Dunn

Ha Ha! I am so waiting to do my Christmas shopping!

 Thanks all for the comments - a very interesting discussion.

And as many of you point out - the 2012 theme is meant to be a conduit for striking that balance in life, rather than a means for debating the actual end of the world.  

Guest's picture
Misa

I like the idea of thinking about "given an amount of time to live, not just a day, but a short amount of time, what would you do?

I don't know if the world will end in 2012. But I find it just as plausible as I do to believe that an invisible being is in charge of the universe.

Guest's picture
Sarah Mains

Well if the world ends on 12/21/2012, I will be exactly 29. It makes me wonder if this is the way my goal to be debt free by 30. I guess the only way to know is if any of us wake up 12/22/2012.

Guest's picture
Guest

Ppl on this page seem to be looking a little more at the religious aspect of this instead of the scientific.
Poles reversing and the sun reaching the center of the universe seem to me a little more important than Mayan or Christian or any other prophesies...
Read the research if you like but astronomers agree that it is going to happen, all on the same day. What they aren't sure about is what will happen.
Worse case senario??... when the poles reverse the atmosphere instantly disappears and we lose gravity... WOAH...
Cant wait to see what happens then =)
I'm sure it will be a fun ride. I plan on staying outside all day that day.

Guest's picture

Great, so the world is going to end on my 34th birthday. I'll make sure to have one hell of a party!

Guest's picture
Guest

the day the "stars allign" sort of speak makes me really wonder if people see the true beauty in all of this ...on one hand we have talks of what will i do or act or nothing at all. i for one think that if the sun does reach the center of the galaxy, it will recreate the fear of love, the love for existence.

i dont KNOW if the world will end 2012, but i like that the situation for many begs the question of not your existence but
OUR existence!

so what can i do for now? well im going to take it with a grain of salt. i already planned on living a exultant sort of life with many goals toward self-righteousness, understanding, and career...dont forget those virtues... for me 2012 is another bright day in the middle of the galaxy.

Guest's picture
alfred

all of you who are scared of 2012 or up set with it need to relize they shouldnt reason is no 0one should live with regrets i dont ad if it happens oh well if it dose then well i am screwed and i am gonna die with everyone else and it wont matter so start living with no regrets cause if you dont youll kill your self before 2012 peace