Have you recently ended a sentence with “…you know, if the Apocalypse doesn’t happen...”? Did you know that according to an Ipsos poll conducted earlier this year, one in seven people believe the end of the world will happen soon? Does it seem like, in one way or another, we are actually anticipating the Mayan Apocalypse?
Let me back up.
As recently as a century ago, most of the world lived a rural lifestyle. We tended the earth, raised our own food, spent time with our family and friends and lived. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for modernity – toothbrushes, vaccines, iPads… so just bear with me for a moment.) Life was hard, sure. There’s a reason we invented instant meals and climate controlled houses.
But I wonder sometimes, did we really gain so much? We work our tails off for the bottom line of someone else’s company, striving for “profitability” and improving investor relations, waiting patiently for some of the success (i.e. cash) to trickle down to us. Meanwhile, every dime that goes into our bank account gets relocated somewhere else, like the mortgage, the bills, the car, the phone, and every extra dime we receive inspires us to just get more stuff. We’re dependent on the ones who give us those thin pieces of paper with shiny dollar signs – owned, you could say.
So many of us live in “little boxes on the hilltop,” going to our jobs that are essentially imaginary, invented in order to push another buck. We sell junk and act like we actually care about it. We’re asked to be passionate about something that, if it disappeared, would leave no footprint whatsoever.
And I know that there was rape and pillage centuries ago, but when I hear about a 10-year-old girl who was kidnapped and dismembered just a few doors down from her own home, while her mother searches frantically for her, my soul cries out, “Dear God, send us the Apocalypse.” I read about Internet “trolls” that wade through the bogs of Reddit and think, “maybe we need a reset button.”
I question, have we really come so far? Are we really any different than we were a century, a millennium ago? Or do we just know the right words to fit into society? Have we created a beautiful mirage of civilization that is advanced in name, and technology, only?
It isn’t that I want us all to be blown to smithereens. I don’t want plague and pestilence, war and famine. And yet…there is a reason our society is obsessed with Dec. 21, 2012.
I don’t know…maybe it’s as simple as the fact we want to quit our damn jobs and shoot zombies, live in the woods and be more than paper pushers. Christians want it because they’ll see Jesus; Muslims want it because it will usher in the last Mahdi; atheists want it so they can shoot zombies. Maybe, on a core level, we want it because we know our society is terribly unhinged.