It's December 21, 2012, and I'm sitting at my desk. I'm still here. My friends are still here.
Kevin Henry, Editor
It's December 21, 2012, and I'm sitting at my desk. I'm still here. My friends are still here. The Internet is still working. The lights are still on. I just checked with a friend of mine in Australia and he's still here (even though the day is almost over for him). I just checked the weather and there are no immediate signs of solar flares or 100-foot waves. I think it's safe to say that we've survived the apocalypse. As one of my friends texted me this morning, this has to be the lamest apocalypse of all time.
I've kidded for a long time about December 21 and what I was going to do before the world ended. I joked to way, way too many people that I was going to buy a yacht and be sitting off the coast of Fiji when the world came to an end. My daughter rolled her eyes every time I mentioned it, and kept reminding me that she was just going to find John Cusack (I mean, hey, he survived in the 2012 movie, right? She's smarter than I am). Today has been quite the punchline for me for a number of months because, deep down, I never believed for a moment that the end of the world was happening on December 21, 2012.
When I first woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check the CNN app on my phone to see what craziness had happened in the world overnight. You see, I wasn't worried about December 21. I was more worried about how people would react to December 21. Would people use today as an excuse to do whatever they pleased and carry out whatever act of violence they wished? It's sad, but this is the world in which we now live. After all, more than 30 Michigan schools closed for the holidays two days early, in part because the Mayan calendar predicted the world would end on Friday. It's the fear of what people will do rather than what the Mayan calendar reads.
Maybe "fear" is the wrong word, because I truly believe we can't live our lives in fear of what might happen. I do worry about the direction our society is heading. I worry about it for my daughter and her generation. I've always believed strongly in trying to leave the world a better place for them. I shudder at times to think I won't be able to do that.
I worry about a society where we draw ever closer to the edge of the fiscal cliff, but worry more about political parties than working together.
I worry about a society where so many stand in line for hours to get the medical or dental assistance they so desperately need, yet can't afford.
More than anything, however, I worry about a society that has become more and more violent. I worry about a society where kindergarteners are gunned down in their classroom by a madman with access to overpowering firearms … but I would worry more about a society that didn't care about what happened in Newtown. My faith in humanity is restored when I see how people come together in the face of tragedy, and stand up to evil. It's restored when I hear about teachers who sacrifice their lives in the hopes of saving their students. It's restored when I see an entire nation cry out with one voice, "Enough is enough."
Has anything happened yet on December 21? Luckily, as of this moment (wow, 9:11 as I look at the clock. I don't like that thought either), all is calm and all is bright. That's my hope and prayer for you, for me, for all of us as we enter into the New Year … a year of calm and a year where the good outshines the bad.
As we all put together our "resolutions" for 2013, maybe it's time that we put aside the hopes of losing 10 pounds for more important things … like making the world a better place for our children and their children. What can you do to improve the world in 2013?
"The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have" is a quote uttered by Kenneth More in the 1970 version of "Scrooge." It's a good thought for all of us to have heading into the New Year.
May 2013 be a year that we can all say was better than 2012 (no matter how amazing 2012 was for you) and may we all be able to say that, in 2013, our world became a better place because we each made a difference in our community by making a difference in ourselves.
Read on ... this is your magazine.