What if it was determined that the Mayans got it right and there really is going to be a catastrophic end of the world on December 21, 2012?   What would you do, what would you think, how would you feel?   Here is one way to look at it.

Would it be so bad if we all got our ticket punched on the same day?   We are all going to die, eventually.   Most of us do not know when or how but we are all in that same cosmic queue waiting for our turn to exit this world or enter the next, depending on your beliefs.   In some ways it would take all of the mystery, uncertainty and anxiety out of that waiting game if we all knew that we were going to die on a certain date in that last cataclysmic event.   There is also a degree of comfort in knowing that we all will die on the same day and no one gets to escape or outlive us.   It is the ultimate statement of equality.

Well, you might be saying to yourself at this point, “I was hoping for a long life for myself and my family and I do not want to miss all of the years we might have had left”.   There is merit to that notion; however, if the world were really going to end you might want to consider this alternative notion.   Once you die everything you ever experienced or knew, as far as you are concerned, is gone without a trace, so what difference does it really make if you had a day, a year, or a century of such memories and, since you can’t take those memories with you, of what value would they be to you after you are dead?   Life is more about quality than quantity anyway.   Similarly, the people most affected by your death, your loved ones, will be leaving with you so, again, there is comfort in the fact that no one will need to mourn anyone.

Then, of course, there are the practical benefits.  We would not need to be suffering through another presidential campaign and election, we would no longer need to plan for or worry about our financial futures, and we can do pretty much anything we want since there would be no enduring consequences to our behavior.   No need for taxes (too bad we did not have confirmation of this prediction prior to April 15th) or even a government for that matter and we can put the war on terrorism and global warming behind us.   We are all home free so to speak and everyone wins or loses, depending on your point of view.

On the down side, there would not be nearly enough doughnuts to satisfy the sudden demand once people realize that there is no point to having a healthy lifestyle.  Very few people would continue to work so there would be a shortage of all goods and services.   There would be some people who would go crazy, create turmoil and try to ruin the party.   On the bright side, every problem would now only be a short term problem.

I don’t believe for a moment that the world is going to end on December 21, 2012 or at any time in the foreseeable future, so everything I just said is purely academic unless, by some chance, the Mayans really did get it right.   If the end is near, what would you do?

On Monday, Joe reflects on a random event that changed his life in “A Fork In The Road”.