Christmas and the End of the World

Five years ago, I thought that the world was becoming a better place. I believed it, deeply and sincerely, and saw signs of it everywhere I looked. Five years ago, I was young and idealistic.

I don’t think that anymore. The signs of improvement are now gone, and some of them had never truly existed in the first place. If the world ever starts to get better, it will only happen after we hit rock bottom — and we are still very much on the way down.

Christmas is two days away, and yet it hardly feels like it. There hasn’t been the usual flurry of homemade treats from the neighbors. The only posts about the subject on Facebook revolve around, “I hate Christmas.” Stumble Upon hasn’t been popping up with very many pages about the holiday, and the ones that I come across aren’t very cheery. Even the stores that I’ve gone to have been oddly empty. People are increasingly giving gifts to themselves, instead of focusing on the generosity that once characterized the season. I can’t say that it’s like this everywhere, but here, where I am, this is the case.

I think that deep down inside, a lot of people were secretly hoping that the world would end on the 21st, or that something notable would happen. Instead, it came and passed quietly. Now that the hope is gone, people have only their own cynicism to keep them company — and the world is suffering.

I know from personal experience that rock bottom is a long, long, way down, and that once you’re there, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have what it takes to get back up. The world will continue to get worse for as long as people allow it, and the worse it gets, the more permissive people will become as they lose themselves in their pessimism.

I will be different.

I will not give in to the sickness. I will celebrate Christmas with the spirit and enthusiasm of days now past. I will give joyously and selflessly. I will do the right thing, simply because the right thing needs to be done. I will not let the world drag me down to the bottom with it.-