If you are reading this, it means we are all still here and this was yet-another-Apocalypse-Armageddon-End of the World fiasco. OR it means you are a survivor and I was most likely sent straight to Dragon Hell, head first, for mocking about the yet-another-Apocalypse-Armageddon-End of the World date.
I must confess although I laughed shamelessly at the whole 2012 End stuff, I gave some thought to it too. The end of the world is, for me, the day I die. Whether the Earth keeps spinning or not, evidently the world would be over for me. I know people don't like to talk about death but I spent long years trying to understand it and after so much study, I ended up losing any fear I could have felt about it. I suppose it greatly depends on what I believe death is and what happens afterwards, or if there is even an afterwards. However, I am not nearly discussing death here.
Ironically, the End of the World fans made me think about Life. I don't need some prophecy to tell me life is not guaranteed. People tend to take it for granted but truth is the end of *my* world may come tomorrow, a week from now or in many more years. The world may end for a person in a second, announced or unannounced.
I've heard many times, "Live this day as if it were the last of your life." Those who have had Near Death Experiences suffer a drastic change in their personalities because they become extremely aware how precious their world is. They become more loving, more patient, more grateful and less worried about things that suddenly don't matter as much as they thought. Priorities change forever. They see the world with different eyes.
Facing terminal diseases have similar effect. "If you knew you would die young, what would have you changed about your life?" - "I would have done this, I would have done that. I would have told my people how much I loved them. I would have taken time for the real important things. I would forgive, ask for forgiveness.." and a long etc.
I cannot help but to wonder why humans are so worried about the Future, so obsessed about the Past, and let Present drip off their hands. A teacher once told me, "With a foot firmly standing on the Past, and the other foot firmly standing on the Future, we pee on the Present." Not so elegant, my teacher, but truthful enough. Or as my good friend, Master Oogway quoted: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called present."
Talking of the end of the world, to me, has nothing to do with the useless and morbid sensationalism around prophecies, regardless who wrote about them. Personally, I think it's more of a "heads-up" to understand all we truly have certain is the NOW, to say what we want to say, to do the best we can do and to be the best we can be. It's to pay more attention to this instant and make of it the best of our lives -just as if it were to be the last-.
Becoming the best we can ever be, I believe, it's the essence of the spirit of Christmas.
Paradoxically, I think the way to practice the spirit of Christmas all the year involves to keep in mind we won't get a memo to warn us about the end of the world, not the Earth, but our *personal* world. To be aware that everything we have is borrowed for the time that's given us to have it. It wouldn't hurt to appreciate each instant as if it were the last.
I'm one creature who has faced near extinction more than a couple times. That's why I never leave the Cave without giving my loved ones a kiss and a tight hug. My greetings also involve hugs. (Ok, so I am a cuddly type of dragon). I take time to watch the sun, the stars, the rain, the moon, feel the wind, and hear the birds as if it were the last time I'm enjoying all that. I thank every morning I wake up to, and every night I manage to get to my bed safe, aware that those I love are safe in their beds too.
Above all, I try to keep all paws firmly standing on the Now. What say you? Do you think you can try?