What to Do When Time Is Running Out

(Originally written summer 2012)

If you don’t already have the date circled, YOU WILL. No one is immune. No one will simply ignore it. It will affect your life and how you live your life in late 2012.

The End of Time will make headlines this year. Through late summer and into the fall, it will slowly become a more frequent topic of discussion. Once November is in the rear view mirror, people around the world will begin making decisions based on their personal perception of the likelihood that 12/21/2012 may contain the last few grains of sand in the hourglass. The clock is ticking. How will you handle it?

Einstein reasoned that the purpose of time was so that everything didn’t happen all at once. Yet since mankind began to record thoughts for future generations to consider, there has been the assertion that a point is predetermined somewhere in the future where everything will stop all at once.

In October of 1884 Chester A. Arthur called for a council of world leaders. At his request, 41 representatives from 25 nations around the world gathered in Washington DC, and the world (as it was known at the time) came to an end.

Interaction on the world’s stage was becoming increasingly global. People traveled from one country to another at a more rapid pace than ever before and each country kept its own time independently. World maps also differed from country to country. It was confusing, to say the least.

There was a growing need for uniformity and Chester A. Arthur pressed for a resolution. He could so with authority because he was the President of the United States.

The council established what we know today as the Prime Meridian and adopted Greenwich Mean Time. The Prime Meridian marks zero degrees on the world map. From that point all longitude lines would be calculated, moving both east and west from zero and culminating on the opposite side of the globe at 180 degrees longitude. (Longitude 180 runs through the eastern most part of Russia near Alaska).

The International Date Line (which separates today from tomorrow or today from yesterday, depending on your direction of travel) follows 180 degrees longitude, but fluctuates around land masses. Thus, all parts of Russian and Alaska are experiencing the same day at the same time.

The lines of longitude were also used to establish Time Zones. Zero Degrees Longitude was established to run directly through the center of The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London.  Moving east and west from zero degrees at intervals of 15 degrees fashioned 24 sectors of measured time (180 degrees divided into 12 equal segments in each direction produced 15 degrees between longitude lines).

This established exact midnight and exact noonday on opposite sides of the globe. Thus, world time is calculated +/- one hour GMT every 15 degrees around the globe. Like the International Date Line, Time Zones are not rigid. They fluctuate to accommodate land masses.

Over the next few years this global measurement of time and space was adopted by countries worldwide. We were finally all on the same page. It was The End of Daze.

Time will once again be making the headlines this year and in a BIG WAY. By the time July arrives, it will become a frequent topic of discussion. As autumn arrives, it will become a heavily followed news story. By the time November is in the rear view mirror, people around the world will begin making decisions based on their personal perception of the likelihood.

Every major naturally occurring global happening will be tied to it by someone in some way. Storms, earthquakes, freak weather shifts, massive power outages and solar events will make headlines. You may even see features on abnormal migratory patterns being observed among animals.

If you don’t already have the date circled, YOU WILL. No one is immune. No one will simply ignore it. Not one of us will have the ability or strength to play it off as just another day. It will affect your life and how you live your life in late 2012.

 Do I have an opinion on 12/21/2012?

  • It’s three ONE’s, four TWO’s and a ZERO.
  • I know that I’m not privy to all the facts.
  • I can’t cast a vote of conviction in the “Will it? Won’t it?” Debate

There is this notion that we should somehow live each day as if it were our last. It sounds like good motivation, but it just isn’t practical. And, overall, it is probably more prudent to live each day as if there will be more to follow.

We’ll find out about December 22nd when and if it gets here. But, in the meantime, here are a few things that would serve us well, whether tomorrow comes or not.

– Let go of some things that we’ve continued to hold tightly
Some live life waiting for that one opportunity to even an old score. Deadlines have a way of cleaning the slate. Somehow we find it easier to set aside personal agendas when the clock is ticking down to zero.

– Make meaningful things a premium priority
MEANING-ful things are the things we’ve been meaning to do. One day I’m going to… (fill in the blank). Deadlines bring to the forefront those things that have been resting comfortably in the background and the heat on the back burner gets turned up considerably.

– Reassess values with a higher degree of selflessness
We miss-evaluate significance, choosing to tip the scales in a self-serving way more often than we may even realize. We should never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate. Our understanding of what is truly important is always crisp just before the buzzer.

Will time suddenly stop “slippin’ slippin’ slippin’ into the future” on 12/21/2012? I guess we’ll all find out together. But, I’m sure we can enjoy better individual lives and make the world a little bit better place if we take care of a few things between now and then.

Here’s to “The End of Daze”

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