CAMPUS MAGAZINE: For the fear of God

Date posted: December 1, 2009

The World is coming to an End

What will you do if you knew that 21 December, 2012 is THE last day?

A friend of mine made me watch the trailer of a movie called 2012 that is to be released soon. I am not a big fan of disaster movies but the trailer of that particular movie got my attention. The plot is based on the Mayan Calendar that predicts that 21 December, 2012 is the end of time. (If you do not know what I am on about, Google 2021 phenomenon)

I never put too much thought in this end-of-the-world notion; my mind archives the past in a directory named "lessons" and each folder within that directory carries my treasured lessons related to various areas in life – love, work, friendships, fun, sports, …etc. The biggest chunk of my thoughts is focused on the present. I am one of those people who believe that I really have to make the best out of every living moment. I indulge my every passion in whatever it is that I am doing as if it is really my last time. The near future is a blind spot for me; I have no clue about tomorrow, next year, or the coming 5, 10, 20, 30, or 50 years! But I can see with utter clarity my future after 150 years; I can clearly see my page in a history book in the hands of one of my grand grand gand nephews or nieces (please don't laugh!)

I asked some friends in a casual outing that question: What will you do if you knew that 21 December, 2012 is THE last day? Their reactions were amazing; laughter followed by a blank face, denial, murmurs, and finally words that made a little sense.

The for-the-fear-of-God people were more focused on the horrible death they would be destined to be it underneath a collapsing building, sucked into a hurricane, swallowed in sudden crack underneath layers of earth, stuck in that elevator in their office building, trapped in that garage under their residence, smothered by a drink that came to life, buried alive until they actually get to die, and more scenarios that just proved to me that we are really seriously flawed.
When I asked them on how they planned to spend the coming three years, they went religious on me. They decided to die now as they prepared for their "inevitable" death in 2012. No more outings, no more parties, no more relationships, no more love, no more dreams, no more achievements, no more travelling, no more exploring life, and they would spend those three years repenting, praying, crying, and fearing God.

The for-the-love-of-God group was happy and relieved that this ugliness is coming to an end. They were looking forward to eternal peace and an end to suffering; hence, they did not care how they died as long as they got to "rest" afterwards. They did not fear death, punishment, the afterlife, or the horrors that we have been told about hell, the inferno, the purgatory, or whatever you want to call it! To them God is loving, kind, great, and the all-merciful. There was a couple among us who belonged to that bunch and they decided to get married. The guy just stood up and asked the girl to marry him; he apologized for wasting all those precious moments away from her and vowed to make her happy until the end of time. The girl said yes and we mock celebrated them and their 3-year marriage contract. A month later they did get married!

The two guys who always asked who-is-God were contemplating suicide, could not care less about life, death, or 2012. They were the most frowned upon by the rest of the gang. Although we all knew that they were atheists but that was the first time their beliefs were that exposed. They basically said that there was no God, that we came from a big bang, that we will go with a big bang, that there is no afterlife, and that there is only one life to be enjoyed and lived. Knowing that the world ends in 2012 did not make a difference but if it got too ugly and painful at the end, then they would take their own lives. The two of them agreed that they had no regrets and that there is nothing that they would have done different in the past, nothing they would do differently now, and nothing they would want to do differently until 21 December, 2012.

I will not tell you which bunch I belong to but if you identified with the first group then you are a miserable person who is missing out on life altogether. If you could relate more to the second group then you live in a bubble of your own creation. If you agree with the two guys then you are too cynical and your punch line is 3adi ya3ni.

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