Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of a World

December 21, 2012: the winter solstice; my dad’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad!); and...

 The End of the World.

This certainly is not the first time in recent memory that the end of the world has been predicted (see: The Rapture), but it’s probably the one that has been the most renowned.

In recent years, many people have looked towards this date as one on which the world will end, based on the  belief that it is the date that will mark the end of the Mayan calendar… the end of the “fourth world”.

Some folks have taken this quite literally in meaning that we will experience “Armageddon” on this day. Others have thought it meant that some cataclysmic event would occur. While others have merely turned it into a publicity stunt.

The Mayan calendar ending does not necessarily mean that the world will literally come to an end on December 21, 2012. Most scholars believe that the “end of a world” simply meant the end of a cycle.

Meaning there would be a time of transformation…and not necessarily a bad one.

Unfortunately, exactly one week prior to 12-21-12, for 26 families, their worlds did indeed come crashing down. For them, and for many other people touched by the Sandy Hook shooting, December 2012 will always be a time when life did not make sense and everything changed.

Photo courtesy of New Haven Register

For this reason, I think December 21, 2012 should mark the beginning of a new world; a new time.

I wish with all of my heart that a tragedy such as this did not have to take place in order to ignite a move towards a safer society, but fortunately, some moves towards change are already beginning. 

Did the world come to an end today? No. But many worlds were destroyed last week. I hope that through those ends, we can have a new beginning: a safer, more peaceful, world.

Last week, we all hugged our loved ones a little tighter to show them how much we loved and appreciated them. This week, over this holiday season, may we continue to show how grateful we are for our families and start off our "new world" with a pledge to do what we can to keep children and loved ones safe. Let's make this new world a more peaceful one. One in which tragedies such as this do not occur.