Welcome From The Chief Editor

Well … if you’re reading this, we made it! Nope. The poles didn’t shift. The planetary alignment didn’t rip the earth apart or rip it from its orbit. The predicted apocalypse seemed to pass us by. PHEW! Did we perhaps dodge another bullet? I hardly think so.

Many other predictions have been made throughout history, foretelling the “end of days” for mankind and for our home among the cosmos. They have, as we know, all come and gone with barely a notice. The return of Halley’s Comet every 72 years brings out a flurry of doomsayers. Even the appearance of the Hale-Bopp comet in early 1997 brought about the infamous Heaven’s Gate cult. They believed an alien spaceship was hidden in the bright tail of the comet, which was to serve as their “escape vehicle” before the earth was “recycled” (wiped clean, renewed, refurbished and rejuvenated). In order to gain passage on the spaceship, they were convinced that they had to commit suicide and ascend to a higher plane. Police found the dead bodies of 39 members of the cult.

Then the last “big apocalypse” was Y2K. Now, enter 2012 and the Mayan calendar. According to the TGDaily website, amateur followers of the Mayan "long count" calendar claim that the completion of a time cycle known as Baktun 13 heralds the end of the world as we know it. However, the Mayans also believe that the Baktun 14 cycle will begin immediately after the conclusion of Baktun 13. Whatever.

Personally, I believe that they simply didn’t continue their “long count” calendar past 2012 for two reasons. First, the Mayans themselves may have either believed that they themselves wouldn’t be around, or that someone else would pick up their work and continue it. Secondly, I’m sure at some point, someone had to think “after 3000 years (or so) of this calendar, certainly someone in the 21st century will be able to recognize a pattern here and just repeat.”

My favorite take on the “end” of the Mayan “long count” calendar is this cartoon. It’s quite conceivable to me that this scenario could, very well, be the entire reason that the Mayan “long count” calendar ends when it does. My co-workers all get a chuckle, because I have a copy of this cartoon fastened to the outside of the door of my locker at the hospital.

So, have we dodged another apocalyptic bullet? Perhaps, but we remain staring down the barrel of a gun – at point blank range. I firmly believe that we – the human race – will be the ultimate undoing of our own kind, and of this planet. We treat one another and our planet as if they are all as disposable as a hot dog wrapper tossed to the ground. Overall, it seems that mankind gets dumber and dumber with every passing increment of time (go ahead and choose your own increment – second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, etc.). It’s not just individuals, either. It’s a collective problem. As a race, and in whatever small groups we form, human beings seem to be less and less capable of making good, sound decisions. Perhaps the information overload that the information age delivered us has, in fact, made us dumber. Maybe because we are so overwhelmed by the enormous amount of available information, we are unable to separate the wheat from the chaff. Maybe we can no longer discern what is important from what is unimportant, or what’s right from what’s wrong.

So, in a sense, we haven’t dodged anything, and certainly no bullet. The bullet is still in the gun, and the gun is still pointed squarely at us. The “Great Doomsday of 2012” will simply become yet another footnote in a long list of apocalyptic events that were supposed to see the end of life as we know it. If nothing else, it gave us something else to focus on, other than our own shortcomings as a species. Sadly, it may have even prevented us from addressing those shortcomings. I only hope that we can (somehow) divert our attention back to fixing our shortcomings.

Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.