If the Mayas were right and the world will really come to an end in 2012, then what is the reason for all this concern? Particularly over something that (logically) cannot be averted. The whole world is overwhelmed by concern. Concern over how the economy will develop, fear as to whether the Eurozone will collapse, worry over the future of Europe, but also uncertainty for the future of the world itself. But if either way doomsday will come before the very end of this year, then why worry? Why don’t we try to improve today instead? Why is everyone so concerned with the future that they forget to live the present? Even Bob Marley had sung it: “in every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double”.
Worries spread fear and fear is the worst enemy of optimism. It is this very concern that has devoured us. The fear and terror that “it never rains, but it pours”. But as US President Franklin Roosevelt had said: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. It is that very fear that hovers over society like a black cloud. Like a tornado demolishing everything in its way. Leaving behind a society helpless and unable to stand on its own. That instead of moving forward with the knowledge from its past mistakes is moving backwards. And yet – invoking the infamous excuse of the current period – this crisis is to blame for everything. For the fact that there are no jobs; that shops, firms and industries are shutting down; that prices are rising but salaries are not; that poor people are becoming even poorer and are increasing in numbers, all the while the rich are becoming even wealthier but fewer. Consequently, the middle class is vanishing, widening even further the rich-poor divide. And the society that is portrayed in Latin-American telenovelas, where the carefree rich enjoy their ‘haciendas’ while the poor struggle to make a living in their makeshift shacks, is becoming all the more true as it rapidly converges on reality.
For as science and technology progress, the society’s mentality hardly changes. And all this third and fourth generation technology that has flooded the 21st century markets, despite facilitating our lives, has made it all the more empty. Development and progress is becoming a victim of commercialism. Because we feel that all these technologically-advanced gadgets will improve our image and make us feel more important. Today’s generation of children ask for smartphones, tablets, laptops, and whatever new and technologically-advanced best-seller is in the market today and costs dearly to demonstrate its worth. While yesterday’s children felt cool simply with their new set of coloured pencils. Indeed, the future generation may never even learn to write with pencil and pen, since keyboard will probably replace ink and finger will replace stylo.
However, it is worth questioning whether all this development and dependence on it is actually a good thing. If all these unnecessary expenses could be used on something more noteworthy and constructive – on medical research, for example, where developments and advancements are necessary. If even technology is reigned by fear. Fear that if it is actually used in research, or in similar fields, then something unknown and unexplored will come of it. A new Dolly for instance. That will rejuvenate debates, reactions and controversies over human intervention on the divine gift of life. And which will also breathe life into the realistic science fiction films depicting cloned and alien life-forms pursuing the end of the world. But the world – judging from all that is happening – seems to be causing its own demise. By its own selfishness, arrogance and greed. Perhaps this is what the Maya meant by their prediction? And what if they are right?
(22 January 2012)