Supposedly, the world will end on December 21, 2012, but I don’t believe that. There were plenty of other times in the past when the world was predicted to come to a crashing halt, but of course, we’re all still here and the planet is fine (well, as fine as it is possible to be, at any rate).
“Apocalypse” (a neat word and quite fun to say) is a Greek word that doesn’t mean “end of the world.” It means “revelation” or “unveiling.” We call the end of the world the “apocalypse” because that is supposedly when everything will be revealed to us. If you’re a Christian, that is when Jesus will come back to earth to reveal untruths, sins, and the fate of the world. If you don’t believe in God, or you’re not a Christian, the apocalypse could mean many different things: an epic zombie attack, a shift in the space-time continuum, an asteroid crashing into the planet, global warming devastating our planet, dinosaurs returning… anything.
But if you knew, for an absolute fact, that the end of the world was coming in a month, what about your life would be revealed to you? Would you realize that you should spend more time with your loved ones? Would you realize you need to have fun in life? Would you realize that your life, in fact, was only half lived? It really makes you think… and stressful situations like that reveal a lot more in a short period of time than anything else would.
Or what about the end of your world, meaning your own death? That’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. The majority of us have no idea when we will die… when the end of our world will come. It’s that age-old question: If you knew you only had one day to live, how would you spend it? I think the answer to that question reveals a lot about who we are as people. And if you happened to come to the end of your world tomorrow, how would you be remembered at your funeral?
I know these are really morbid questions, but for some reason, they circulate through my head a lot, and I doubt I’m the only one who ever thinks or wonders about these things.
Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.
-Emily Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for death”