You night have heard, but we shouldn’t be here, or at least, we shouldn’t be enjoying ourselves quite so much. Yes, apparently this past weekend (May 21, 2011, at 6 p.m. your local time, to be exact) the Rapture was supposed to come and take the faithful up to heaven, leaving the rest of us here to suffer the horrors of Armageddon. (I’m including myself in the, to borrow a phrase, ‘Left Behind’ group; while I try to lead a good life, I wouldn’t put money on me being amongst the select and chosen few.)
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news about that whole event. The good news is that the Apocalypse apparently isn’t here yet; the whole production seems to be a mistake by the pastor in charge. That’s probably a good thing; I don’t know about you, but I’ve got plenty I’d like to do before the final curtain falls on the planet and our species.
But there’s bad news to be had as well; at some point, the world is likely to end. My informal survey (that is, things I’ve heard about but don’t feel like formally researching) indicates that the most likely date for the next end of the world is December 21, 2012, when I guess the Mayan calendar ends (and apparently the Mayans were able to pinpoint exactly when this whole ‘time’ thing would cease to exist, as well), although I’ve heard other dates being tossed around, from the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel to several dates that Nostradamus threw out there. (Yes, Nostradamus gave multiple dates for the end of the world; no, I don’t know how that would work.)
So, what should you do when it comes time for the world to end, for reals-ies this time? How can you make sure that you make the most of your last few hours, while ensuring that you aren’t caught unawares if, just by chance, the world DOESN’T end when you think it will? (I know, I know, what are the chances of that happening (again), but humor me here.) Here’s a few thoughts on what to do come the (next) end of the world:
Dos and Don’ts for End of the Planet Preparations
DO Live a Good Life: There’s plenty of disagreement about just what the correct religion is (and whether any religion is correct), but there is generally an agreement on how to be a good person. Treat others the way you would like to be treated, don’t lie, cheat, steal, murder, or otherwise abuse other people, and try to take any abuse you suffer without vengeance or anger at your abusers, and you should come out alright.
DON’T Try to Convert At the Last Minute: I don’t claim to speak for God, but I’m guessing He’s able to tell the difference between sincere changes in faith and ‘I’m doing this to get out of this (literal) heck-hole’ conversions. The latter probably don’t get you too much credit. Also, while death bed conversions are probably better than nothing, trying to game the system by living an unholy life and converting at the last minute is quite likely to backfire on you; there’s that whole ‘not knowing when you’ll die’ thing to contend with, after all.
DO Live Life to the Fullest…: One of the advantages (if you can call it that) of impending doom is that it reminds us of everything we want to do in life, and how little some of us have actually done towards finishing that list. So, regardless of whether there is a threat of Apocalypse, try to live a full life and take advantage of all the world has to offer (and the fact that we live in a time and place when traveling the world and experiencing its many cultures and wonders is not only considered normal, but is highly encouraged).
…But DON’T Count on the Apocalypse to Wipe Out Your Debts: That said, don’t spend December 20, 2012 (or the days before the next expected end of the world) running up the bill on your credit card. It might seem that you’re taking advantage of the system, but if your plan to deal with the bill is to be Raptured during the grace period, maybe you want to reconsider, before you end up stuck with a huge bill you need to pay. The Bauer Family saw this happen to them, and you don’t want the same thing to happen to you.
DO Enjoy Your Life: I’ve been writing most of this article tongue-in-cheek (as you might have guessed, although I tend to write like that pretty frequently), but if there’s one thing to take away from this whole story, it should probably be the importance of taking advantage of the time we have available. If you live well and fully your entire life, even the end of the world becomes something you can face with a smile, knowing you had a good run. So, regardless of when the end comes (if it even will during our lifetimes), here’s hoping you have lived a good life to that point.