I was chasing Away the fuzz of last night’s New Year’s Eve revelry with my preferred dose of caffeine this morning while checking Facebook, and I found myself “liking” twenty, then thirty, then forty positive wishes and optimistic musings share to mark the start of 2012.
If we stop to consider for a moment, we are in an amazing time. We nonchalantly carry super computers in our pockets or purses. We routinely share our thoughts instantly across the world via text, and Facebook, and so many other methods. We are truly closer to being One than ever before. That is something.
And yet 2012 is being spun as yet another End Times. What do we see? Doom watches. End of The World T-shirts. Mayan merchandising. Yep, we’re embracing the end, counting away to Armageddon, rolling toward The Rapture.
And we’re looking at it all wrong.
The end of the Mayan calendar should not be seen as a prophecy of extinction. That is not what the Mayans suggested at all. The Mayans said the end of this calendar marked the beginning of the next 394-year “baktun” or cycle, according to numerous scholarly sources. But renewal, rebirth, reawakening apparently doesn’t sell. “The New Beginning is Nigh” doesn’t look as good on a sign, or coffee cup, or T-shirt.
But if we are to give the wondrous civilization of the Mayans any respect, this is what we are actually facing: an opportunity to renew our energies, redirect our lives, go through a rebirth of what we believe and commit to, and a reawakening of how we use our lives to create something beneficial to others.
That is what 2012 should be about; committing to creating rather than destroying, uplifting rather than tearing down, and to seeking the spiritual beauty in our lives rather than sowing doubt and fear.
This is not easy. I know because I am not some blessed monk praying blissfully in some distant temple; I am a deeply flawed guy living right in the middle among everyone else. Every day I strive to improve how I deal with others, and so often I fail. My Bronx sarcasm comes out, my defensiveness, or my Irish stubborn streak argues before I think of a better way of dealing with the situation at hand. None of these parts of my background let me off the hook. It is the job of each of us to turn our shortcomings to benefits, to seek the blessed inside the unbearable. None of us should be expected to change in an instant, but doing one thing a day can yield amazing results over the course of a year. We can make it happen this year.
And, yes, many of us have workloads or responsibilities or challenges that overwhelm us. Climbing a mountain can seem overwhelming too, if it is attempted all at once. But no one climbs a mountain in one rush. We do it one simple move at a time. Every successful person does the same thing. Heart surgeons operate one small move at a time. Super Bowl victors never do it in one play, but by making the most of every play, moving past fumbles, and maximizing every opportunity to move closer to victory. All of us can move forward in the same way.
We should never surrender to being overwhelmed; the book of our lives is written one sentence,
sometimes one word at a time.
My very best wishes to each of you in 2012. Instead of doom, let’s make this year glow with the beauty of our every day lives.