Friday, May 20, 2011

World Ends Tomorrow! Women and Minorities Hit Hardest!

Sorry. That's the punchline to an old New York Times joke. Obviously, if the world ends tomorrow, there will be no discrimination according to gender or race.

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And, although I can't quite bring myself to believe that the world is truly ending tomorrow, it did get me thinking: If I knew the world was going to end tomorrow, what might I do differently today?

I've heard some talk of sex parties on the beach, others might run up huge debt, knowing they'd never have to pay it off. But ask yourself, is that what's really important to you?

The first group would be considered hedonists, living for pleasure, living for the moment. If that's you, then consider whether or not your constant quest for pleasure has any meaning beyond the moment or it it ultimately satisfies you.

The second group are materialists. "He who dies with the most toys, wins!" And some people take pride and pleasure from their possessions, but, in the end, the person who dies with the most toys is still dead.

A third group might be the kind of person you'd like to be. The kind you would be if you just weren't so darned busy! If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow, is there someone you would call, just to say hello? A child you would hug? Someone to whom you would say, "You know, I really don't say this often enough, but, I love you" ?

And then, I think there's a fourth group, whom if they knew the world was going to end tomorrow, wouldn't change anything at all. An admittedly small group, but can you imagine living a life where you have no regrets for what you might have done, because you did it? A life lived conscious of the fact that life is short and uncertain, and that for someone you care about, there may be no tomorrow, so you need to let them know today.

I wondered why the Almighty would allow Mr. Camping to wander so far astray that he would be setting dates for the end of the world. Maybe, it's to teach some of us a lesson. There's the obvious one about "not stetting dates for the Lord's return", but also that someday, someone you thought would always be there will be gone. And you will have regrets over missed opportunities to spend time with them and let them know how you feel.

I have a hunch that on Sunday morning, a bunch of people are going to wake up feeling a little foolish, and some embarrassed and some even wondering how they are going to live, having taken, in some cases, a life's savings to buy advertising, out of a concern for the souls of their fellow men.

These are good hearted people. They didn't hunker in the bunker saying, "I've got mine, the rest of you can go to blazes". Literally. They tried to help in the best way they knew how.

So, cut them some slack next week. Such a lovely thought: "Next week". How we would crave it if we could not have it.

Life is a gift. You've only got one. As they say, this isn't a dress rehearsal. Go out and live your life with purpose and meaning and with joy. And if you can't do that, find the reason why. Today. It's all any of us have for sure.



While I was thinking of what I would say on this occasion, this song kept coming into my head.



Less of Me

Let me be a little kinder
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me
Let me praise a little more

Let me be when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery
Think a little more of others
And a little less of me

Let me be a little braver
When temptation bids me waver
Let me strive a little harder
To be all that I should be

Let me be a little meeker
With the brother that is weaker
Let me think more of my neighbor
And a little less of me

Let me be when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am striving for

Let me be a little meeker
With the brother that is weaker
Think a little more of others
And a little less of me

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