|A picture Andrew took when he went to Aur Atoll for work. Majuro Atoll is similarly shaped.|
Just wanted to reassure those in later time zones that it's 8:30 am on December 21, 2012, here in the Marshall Islands, and I'm sitting peacefully at my computer overlooking a very beautiful lagoon. My son is reading a book next to me, and there are no fireballs in sight—just a few light gray clouds. The only thing that might fall on my head is a coconut (a real danger here), but that is nothing new.
Of course, all is not well in the world, and for some, it can feel like the end of the world if they have lost a loved one or if they are sick or struggling. These sorrows, while catastrophic in our own lives, have been happening to a lot of people for a long time, and the unnecessary ones will continue to happen to a lot of people for a long time unless we put away our apocalyptic jargon and go to work to alleviate suffering the world over. Not just the suffering of the ones we love or those that are in the same religion as we are, but those we may not love as well, and those who may be different than us and have different needs than we do.
I love post-apocalyptic dystopias (The Alliance by Gerald Lund is by far my favorite, and has been my favorite since 7th grade), but now, in the coming post-apocalyptic days, I hope that we strive for a moderate, tolerant society and that we enlist any leftover zombies to help clean up the mess we've made ourselves.
Our now-retired Ambassador, Martha Campbell, once told me that for Christmas, her family does a gift exchange among themselves, but each person chooses a charity and donates to that charity in the name of the family member. Then they come up with a little song, poem, picture, or some other little memento that has to do with that charity, and the gift-giver presents that memento to the family member. I think this is a brilliant idea, particularly since many of the gifts we give and receive are either unhealthy, superfluous, or unwanted. Obviously there are great gifts that are very much appreciated by the recipient as well, but it's just one idea of a tradition that helps others who need the resources far more than we do.
Of course, there are still quite a few hours left in the day, so make sure you stay tuned to make sure we survive . . .