Editorial: Brace yourselves; the end of the world is coming

It’s funny how the end of the world seems to have disappeared from our collective radar.

You know, December 21, 2012 (as predicted by the Mayan calendar)?

Only a few weeks from now?

It’s fast approaching.

For the past few years, it has been widely disputed among historians and theologians on what will happen when the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar comes to an end, the generally agreed-upon date being Dec. 21, 2012.

Some texts say “apocalypse” and some say “spiritual transformation” that will spread across the world on this dreaded date. And those in the Christian tradition have been predicting the end of the world since it started (you know, when the Bible was written).

But all speculations aside, now that the mysterious time is near, what should we do to prepare?

Considering that we have holidays for everything else (Arbor Day comes to mind), shouldn’t there be an ‘end-of-the-world day’ as well?

A time to spend with family, eating food and giving thanks for all of the wonderful things in your life before they’re snatched away by the earth’s imminent demise?

We should appropriate Thanksgiving to celebrate the end of the world.

Thanksgiving this year is especially important, as there won’t be a Christmas. It’s our last chance to hear the sweet voices of our relatives and friends before normal life resumes (if briefly) and we’re all pulled away into our respective worlds to await our doom.

It’s a chance to consider what is really important — to reflect on the snuffing out of life on Earth.

And then, on Black Friday, we can indulge in mindless, hedonistic consumerism during our last chance to catch those great sales before all possessions become totally irrelevant.

Just be careful not to trample anyone in your rush to get into Best Buy to get a $300 Super-Macintosh-Mega-Computer; everyone deserves a chance at their last few days of life.

In fact, isn’t this combination of realizing the truly important things and mindless consumerism the answer to all of our problems?

Or maybe the ones we’ve scoffed at all along are right.

Maybe the one’s who are seriously preparing for a post-apocalyptic world will have the last laugh.

If so, we can only hope that some of them will be kind when the time comes and loan us a space in their underground bunkers and some of canned beans during the nuclear/zombie horde/alien invasion.

Knowing that we don’t have to be “good” much longer, can’t we afford a few weeks of patience, kindness and compassion for all life on Earth, coupled with a “live life like we’re dying mentality” that urges us to wring every last drop from the towel that is our collective life?

Help that old lady across the street, volunteer at a soup kitchen, and while you’re at it, buy that new 50-million-inch flat screen you’ve always wanted and watch movies with your closest friends.

It’s a win-win scenario. If the world ends, we’ll have lived full lives (at least in these last, few, precious weeks) and if not, then we’ll still have lived an awesome few weeks.

In fact, perhaps we could live that way forever. When you know the end is coming, you treat every day as a holiday or gift.

Even without the rapidly approaching destruction of everything we know, our lives could end any day.

We’re fragile and human.

Let’s not forget it.

Live like the world is ending these next few weeks, even if it’s not.

It will be worth it in the end, whenever that may be.