Disclaimer: My immense apologies if the topic of today’s blog post offends you. If it does, stop reading and I’ll see you tomorrow for another post, for that is not my intention. If you are, however, happy to read about my humble world-view and how I manage it in a place full of people who believe the world is ending, then read on. And I’ll be happy to discuss it with you in open, frank and kind conversation. Preferably cookies will be involved. With tea. Yes, I look forward to that.
"Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead." -Baha'u'llah
My sweet neighbor believes that the world is ending. Soon. Perhaps not “Mayan” soon (and, for the record, Mayan people are still living among us, so please stop saying that they aren’t), but soon nonetheless. Every time we make small talk, she’ll tell me how one sector of the city doesn’t have power today or so-n-so is ill or how someone got mugged in the capital and she saw it on the news. Sometimes she’ll mention murders if she doesn’t feel I’m fully appreciating the gravity of the situation. Then, she’ll grab my elbow, pull me close to her, intensify her gaze and in a lowered, this-is-really-serious-kind-of-voice say, “These are signs of the end of times!”
She’s terrified. And yet, I just can’t bring myself to tell her that Jesus didn’t even have electricity. You heard it here. Things are getting better, not worse.
There was rampant illness in Christ’s time. People were not only mugged, but regularly murdered right afterwards—especially if you were traveling. The status of women and children? Forgeddaboutit. And don’t get me started on education or healthcare. The wonders of dental hygiene even are relatively new to the world. How cool is floss?
I’m never sure what she wants from me. Especially since—brace yourself—I believe the world already ended. And since the beginning of time, it just keeps getting better. So, I always just shrug and change the topic to boiled bananas. Do you think she’d believe me if I said the world is getting better? Do you believe me?
Allow me to explain, but I’ll be brief so we still have an excuse for cookies and tea later.
First of all, for you statistics-loving people, all the data shows that the world, as a whole, really does keep getting better. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. And for the rest of you: Exhibit C.I had a conversation with another EndofTimesAdvocate who pointed out the tragic earthquake in Haiti as a sign that the world was ending. Umm, there have always been earthquakes. And if the world was truly getting worse, why are there people in entirely different countries without a single connection to anyone directly affected by the quake, emotionally invested and concerned about what happened in Haiti? Or anything that happens in Haiti? Why do they even care? Because it just keeps getting better. Humans are actually cooler as an entire race. We’re more aware. We’re more sensitive, empathetic and caring for not only our next door neighbors, but humanity as a whole. How incredible is that?!
Two hundred years ago, if you explained to someone what the world is like now, you would have been institutionalized. Why? Because we're living in a whole new world. Believe it, buddy. That world is over. Done. History. Ended. No longer. So, they were all correct about the world ending. The details just got a bit embellished and somewhat scary. And they forgot to mention the part about it being a cycle which begins anew each time.
If you are sincerely interested in this particular aspect of Baha'u'llah's immense Revelation, please refer to the Kitab-i-Iqan which is an ocean of depth and beauty on the topic. I bet its even available as an e-book now. How's that for new world?
Otherwise, we can have that tea date.