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The fact that the Bible has a whole section in it, dedicated to describing EXACTLY how the world ends, shows that the end of the world has always had a powerful hold over our minds.That fear will always be there, so long as we are mortal beings, but I'm afraid that as of right now, we're overdoing it.
I can't help but feel a universal sense of pessimism whenever I read the news, watch TV (only once a week, for LOST), talk to a stranger, or just walk down the street. The people and governments of the world are on the verge of war, rebellion or annihilation. The Earth's biosphere has been decimated and we're just realizing how bad it's going to hurt us. And to top it off, the most praised stories of this decade all seem to revolve around some kind of "end of days" scenario; Battlestar Galactica, The Dark Knight, Bioshock, Watchmen and Fallout, just to name a few. Not the most uplifting atmosphere. It's as if the population has accepted that we're about to go over the edge, and this recent obsession with it is just buttering us up for when the bombs fall or the asteroid hits or the Earth fries us alive or whatever the hell your doomsday fantasy is.
Frankly, I'm getting sick of it. This isn't the first time the world ended, you know. How about the year 1000, with the Black Death and all of Europe on its knees, convinced that the New Year was the beginning of the Judgement and the Second Coming. Or 1863, when the was US split down the middle and its people killing and mutilating each other, not to mention the rest of the world getting brutally conquered by those same Europeans who thought they we're gonna get sent to Hell. 1968, peace-loving Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy are gunned down and the two superpowers are on the verge of mutually assured destruction. Good times. But despite all the horrifying stuff we've done to ourselves as a species, we're still here. We pulled through the end of the world countless times, I think we can do it again.
Point is, pessimism will only get you so far. You may think that by assuming the worst will happen you're guarding yourself against disappointment and shock, but you'll find that you still care about some things in your life. In fact, it'll make it even worse when those things you didn't realize you cared about get fucked up, and the rug gets pulled out beneath you when you least expect it.
Giving up hope in the world you live in isn't going to save it OR you. The only thing that will save it is people who give a shit, who see problems and try to fix them. So stop that hand-wringing, weepy-eyed "oh, the world is doomed" BULLSHIT right now! Donate to a charity of your choice, give blood, carpool to work, turn the lights off, have a nice chat with a total stranger. Helping the entire world may be out of our reach, but helping the world we interact with daily is something we CAN do.
So stop bitching and get to it!