Monday, December 31, 2012

This is the last day of December, the last of 2012 and we are still here. Not so surprising. There have been many predictions of the end of the world. Each one has come and gone with no particular change except that many of them have made money for some people and have caused a lot of others a great deal of mental anguish. Others are simply amusing.

Often, practical considerations prevent a total belief in end of the world prophesies. When I was in college in the late fifties, there was a belief that the world would end shortly. The prediction had been made by someone with many followers and was widely publicized. I was dating a girl (who would later become my wife) who had a curious interest in the event. The prediction was very specific. The world was to end at exactly 10:14 AM on October 23rd, or something like that. As the date came closer, Mariellen talked more about it. Finally the day dawned and the fateful hour came and passed. I knew Mariellen’s schedule and waited for her as she came from class. “Well?” I asked her as she approached. “Well what?” she answered, genuinely at a loss as to what I meant. “It’s past 10:14 and the world didn’t end,” I reminded her. “Oh my gosh,” she exclaimed, “I had a Spanish test and forgot all about it.”

But all that is in the past. This year is different. At least I think so. It feels different. It’s difficult to explain. There’s a presence of something lighter. It might be called hope. That’s odd in view of our nation’s current fiscal trauma and the miscellaneous troubles present in the world. Perhaps that change in things is what the Mayan calendar predicted and what I am experiencing. Of course it might be just me, my own personal attitude that has taken an upswing for some unexplainable reason. But that’s the way I feel and it’s probably not a bad attitude to have for the start of the new year. So Happy New Year to you all. We survived. Now, let us survive well.

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