Friday, June 21, 2013

A message from beyond the end of the world

The world ended six months ago today. Remember?

The Mayan calendar came to an end, and so did we. How’s oblivion working out for you?

When I hear predictions about the end of the world, I recall that every prediction about the end of the world I have ever heard — and I’ve heard my share of them — did not come true.

Two quotes I’ve often quoted come in handy when you’re tempted to listen to the siren call of OMG We’re In Deep Doodoo Now …

“Most things I never worry about never happen anyway.” — Tom Petty

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken

I cannot stress enough the last four words of Mencken’s comment. He didn’t say most of the hobgoblins are imaginary; he didn’t say almost all of them are imaginary; he said all. All. Let me say that one more time: “Hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

You’ve heard that joke: How can you tell if a politician is lying? His/her lips are moving.

What’s today’s imaginary hobgoblin? What are you reading about in the news about the latest threat to your personal safety or your homeland security? What did your favorite politician tell you to fear?

Do you really think in six months all that horror will have come true and our lives will be in chaos unless we trust these people to lead us to safety? If so, I have some surplus Mayan calendars I’d like to sell you at a bargain price.

Live your life. Move forward boldly with your dreams. Be all you can be. Nothing can stop you but your fear. What you fear won't happen — or even if it does, it won't stop you unless you let it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.

A poem written in 2007 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.