While we've seen several doomsday prophecies come and go over the past several years, I have to admit that this one actually had me a bit nervous. Even though there was no logical reason for this to be The Real Thing, the end of the world (as we know it, or absolutely), for some reason this one struck a chord with me and I honestly wondered what would happen that day.
Some terrible things did happen, but for many people, it was just business as usual. Which made me think about what normal life is, what it consists of, and what it should be. What I want it to be, for myself and for others.
I want abundance and prosperity for everyone. I want people everywhere to feel safe in their homes. I want children to be able to run outside and play, and for their parents not to worry about whether they'll ever see their children again. I want families to live without the sounds of artillery or the sight of blood in the streets.
I want people to realize that clean air and water are not only for the elite few. I want companies that produce our food to stop poisoning it. I want oil companies to realize that oceans are not merely transportation systems, but ecosystems, and that many other beings use those resources besides the big corporations. It's not okay to dump toxins in them and walk away.
I want people who beat dogs to be punished. I want people who cram chickens into battery cages to understand that "animal" doesn't mean "numb" - they do feel pain, and they don't deserve to. I want the importance of the word "humane" to be understood.
I want all the people who want to impose rules on other people's lives, to be stopped from doing harm. I want those who respect others, and who understand that "different" does not automatically mean "bad", to have a greater say in how our communities are governed.
I'd like people to stop lying to each other, and to begin accepting the truth of how things really are instead of believing we live in a fairyland where no one ever gets angry, no one is ever selfish, families consist of one man and one woman and 2.2 children, and women's bodies automatically reject pregancies resulting from rape. I wish our elections were real and that our votes counted. I wish we could vote on individual issues that really matter, like how our tax dollars are spent, rather than on which preselected Presidential candidate reads his speechwriter's work more fluently, or has nicer hair than the other.
Some of these things are dreams that I know will never come true. Others might be within reach. I hope that in the coming year, we will at least take a few steps toward some of these goals.
I have become tired of speaking in a conventional way, of saying things I don't mean because they're polite, of tiptoeing around things I want to say. I'm still too shy to say all the things I'd like to, but I'm making progress in being more clear about what I mean. I'm learning to say no, and it's exhilarating. I'm learning to say yes to things that frightened me in the past, and I'm stretching my wings because of it. I can't wait to see where I end up.
In the coming year, think about what is really important to you. Let go of what no longer serves you, and pursue your true bliss. Tell those you love, how important they are in your life. We never know how much time we really have together. Take some risks. All of life is a gamble; don't waste it playing safe. What have you got to lose, and what might be the rewards?
Above all, would you rather look back on your life and say "I can't believe I did that," or "I wish I had done that!" Who knows when the real apocalypse might come. Live a little first. Remember, we're all in this together.