People of all kinds of philosophical leanings readily resort to apocalyptic talk nowadays. We like hyperbole, to be sure. If it isn’t some version of some religion or other’s end times, it’s anything from worldwide economic collapse to irreparable ecological disaster. And, of course, any and every one of the dire predictions could prove true.
But focusing on that sort of stuff, let alone organizing one’s life around it, is my idea of a lousy substitute for real living. The largely Pollyanna flavor of my credo doesn’t preclude my being at least passably realistic about the world and its tribulations, and there are some things about which I am as pessimistic and removed from sanguine comforts as can be, but since I can’t change them, I know that they either will or won’t end at least my world, my life; if that’s the case, it won’t matter one iota to me, now, will it? And if I survive, well then, that’s a whole different kettle of fish.
That’s the concern I think worth entertaining: What comes after the End of All Things? If I exist after what I thought was going to end all of my joys and riches, my struggles and concerns, either by destroying every atom of them or by killing me, then that would seem to be the plan, the attitude worth cultivating. I may have little to offer my fellow survivors beyond a sheepish high-five of shared amazement at our not being wiped out along with all other matter, but perhaps if there is more than one of us still standing after the firestorm or implosion or celestial sneezing fit that has massacred everything and everyone else, we can pool our resources and find other surprising pleasantries besides that we just plain aren’t dead yet. I’m betting on that particular scenario, given the relative utility of such thinking in comparison with stocking up plots and devices for scrabbling to continue to exist in a smoking hole of what was once a world. That one I’ll happily leave to darker and less benevolent thinkers, as I can only imagine living among them would kill me quickly enough anyhow. And I do think you know what I mean.