“It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

The title/refrain and lyrics of the R.E.M 1998 pop tune seem particularly prescient today.  But do you feel fine?  It’s beginning to feel as if we’re swirling into a Hitchcockian vortex of global events and picking up speed. Even the song’s frenetic pace resonates with how we’re experiencing these cataclysmic daily events.

So much of our world is exploding or imploding: coal mines, volcanoes, oil rigs, the stock market, oil tankers, earthquakes, meteorites, floods, dams, riots in Greece, war ravaged villages in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and car bombs in Iraq.

Considering all this disaster, I’m grateful that at least one explosion was thwarted in Times Square last week. But the incident reminded us of this daily threat, which had an explosive effect on our collective fear.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it…,” but we still have to keep working to heal and protect it.  We have no choice.  Our lives depend on this planet and on each other. As Mahatma Ghandi advised,

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”


3 responses to ““It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

  1. Laura and Loraine,
    Thanks for your wise, heartfelt comments. It really is the end of the world as we know it. Keening together, raising our voices in despair, while holding tightly to the promise of rebirth for our deeply troubled world will help us find the strength and courage to struggle on for justice.

  2. Nancy and Lorraine, I too have a sense of things “speeding up” that demands my alert attention, even when I want to shy away from the feeling. As if we are in the midst of a contraction that MUST lead to a rebirth, or we, along with our mother the earth, will die. I have a sense of peril and hope that leaves me breathless, at times. I admit to shrinking from it. But at some level, I agree that we must embrace it and a “ritual of despair” sounds appropriate. I always thought of “be the change you want to see in the world” as a calming mantra, reminding me to start with myself since I can’t change the world. But now I think I want to see the world shrieking with the despair that many of us feel, reminding us to be reborn or die. While there’s still time.

  3. Wow. It is stark. Velocity is a lot of the stress for me, personally. The sheer speed at which everything continues to happen. I get overloaded and can’t remember WHY i’m so overwhelmed, just that i am. I know i’m not alone, that others are feeling same, yet that is not too comforting. i remember years ago Joanna Rogers Macy went around doing these “Rituals of Despair” workshops or something and we need something like that in our communities more than ever it seems. Not to focus on despair but to get us thru these times, simply to get thru w/our humanity & spirits intact.

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