The End of Everything

by rthieme on July 8, 1998

We know the Y2K flood is coming, but who is building the right ark?

Back a thousand years, Christendom went crazy. Humans convinced themselves that calendars, an arbitrary measure of the flow of the universe, were linked to the Truth with a capital T. They predicted the end of everything, and lots of people took to the hills.

I have a friend who belongs to a religion that often predicts the imminent end. The first time they set a date,  he sold what he owned and waited on a hill. He had to buy back his furniture, though, so the second time, he went to the hilltop but put his stuff in storage. The third time, he stayed home and watched TV.

My favorite Y2K ark is the gent who is buying bicycles, thinking they’ll be worth more than gold. Others are buying land far away from “here.” But there’s no there there. They’ll find, I think, that we’re all afloat in the same leaky boat. Community didn’t happen when computers got connected. It’s the essence of our humanity.

So some are running and some are buying guns. It’s fight-or-flight, survival time, saving the skin of  “me me me.”

Reminds me of some cynical advice on why churchgoers prefer certain hymns. Always pick the hymns, said a wise old minister, with the most “me’s.”  Why is Amazing Grace the most popular hymn of all time? Fewer “God’s” and more “me’s” than any other.

Wolves that hunt together hunt best. Let’s face it, we belong to one another. Community is the source of our humanity and our destiny.  My  vote is to stay in place, declare war on Y2K, and build redundant back-up systems. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. And tell people the truth. When we know what’s real, people can handle anything.

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