In orientation on Tuesday, a new employee made a statement about how the world was going to end in 2012.
She was having a discussion with a fellow attendee during a break and I walked in to hear her say, "It doesn't matter because the world is going to end drowning in fire on Dec. 25th, 2012, anyway. So enjoy your last couple of year on earth, buddy."
At that point the discussion bled over and began to get rather heated amongst the rest of the newbies, who exhibited attitudes ranging from scoffs ("Puh-leeze. That Aztec calendar's ended, like, fifteen times already.") to a more meeting the challenge head-on approach ("Bring it. I've got my commando gear waiting in the foyer and ten years of canned goods and rations in my lead-lined basement.) I listened for a few moments wondering how much any of them actually believed what they were saying.
Finally, I broke in with a comment, "Around here there are three topic you should probably avoid chatting with your co-workers about: religion, politics, and college football team alliances." Then I said, "George Bush is the Devil. Now on that note, lets get back to the handbook..."
That pretty much brought the conversation to a screeching halt.
Later I was wondering how many people believe the end of the Aztec calendar in 2012 was literally going to mean the end of human existence. Probably about the same number who thought the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, cell phones would implode, planes would fall out of the sky, and our planet would revert back to the technological Stone Age. Each group has their reasons for believing the way they do. Who am I to judge someone else's doomsday prophecy?
Not that I'm nihilistic, but, given the destructive capability at the fingertips of crazy people, the world as we know it could end any minute and most of us (adults) would probably deserve it. Why freak out about it ending two years from now? You're only going to get all worked up about a situation that you can't control anyway. Instead, do your best to make your corner of the world a bright spot in the darkness, help where you can, and attempt to make the world better for your having existed in it.
I don't know if the world is going to end in 2012. What I do know is that even the small positive things that we do can still change the world.
The important thing is to retain your sense of humor. That way when you are surfing the most recent round of postcards on PostSecret and you see that someone's secret is they hope for the zombie apocolypse so that they don't have to pay their bills you can still get a giggle.