December 20, 2012
This is the last Gazette editorial anyone will read — if the world ends today. We know. This statement may have some readers hoping the Mayans were right. ;)
Having consulted experts, The Gazette concludes the world probably won’t end today or tomorrow. We’re not out on a limb with this. If we’re wrong, and the world ends, none will care about our faulty prediction.
In all seriousness, we frequently come to a calendar day on which we’ve been told the world would end. We suspect only God knows when, why and how this will occur. The last big doomsday was supposed to be May 21, 2011. That was the day followers of evangelical radio host Harold Camping insisted we’d be done for. All over the United States, stories were told of business people closing their shops because they wanted to be home for Armageddon. Americans stocked bomb shelters with water, food and guns. It reminded us of Dec. 31, 1999 — another moment in which we were all going to die.
Some Americans laugh about these end-of-times predictions. Others seriously prepare and a majority simply go about their lives.
Whether a doomsday prediction someday has merit, we should all use such occasions for good. Even the silliest doomsday predictions can remind us to consider our own mortality and the fact none will lead a mortal life forever. When we hear about doomsday we should contemplate what we are doing with our time on Earth. Before life ends, individually or collectively, what should we do?
We suggest trying to leave the world better than we found it. Instead of stressing about the things we cannot control we should each think of ways to lead lives that promote love and discourage hate. We should make people and relationships more important than money and things. We should lead lives that make battles, arguments and fights less likely.
Before the world ends, or before your life ends, decide to improve relationships with friends, neighbors, family members and colleagues. Try to make amends with enemies.
Before the world ends, or before you die, find a way to produce more than you consume. Not all can produce more income than they consume and not all can pay more in taxes than they receive from the collective. But all, regardless of circumstance, have the ability to give more — in some fashion — than they receive.
We were reminded of the constructive nature of giving about this time last year. Near Christmas, charity abounds. Bikers, firefighters, cops and an array of community leaders try to fulfill the Christmas spirit by giving to those who are less fortunate.
Last year we saw something that seemed a bit different, but may be common. A young homeless girl received a bicycle at the Bob Telmosse Christmas Giveaway. When she saw a young boy crying, because the event ran out of bikes, she gave her bike to the boy. Upon hearing of her decision, kindness caught on. Within days, the girl’s family had a place to call home. Her single mother was offered an interview and an appropriate job. One act of selflessness created a chain of events that changed a trajectory and probably improved countless lives.
If the world doesn’t end today, which it probably won’t, remember that all our lives will someday end. Be sure to spend each moment making the world a better place.