In the words of the old blues song "I woke up this morning..." - Quite amazing really. It is now the fifth day of the year and the world hasn't ended. Who would ever have thought we'd be here, now in 2014. The Mayan calendar ended two years ago, according to Nostrodamus, the third anti Christ should be laying waste to the world as we speak (unlike some rather excitable commentators who believe Pope Francis is the beast and the antichrist). Even more surprising is that the UK seems not to have sunk under the weight of immigrants in the deluge predicted by the Sun and the Daily Mail when borders opened on the 1st to Bulgarians and Romanians. TV crews turned up at Luton Airport to greet the hordes. Sadly for the hystericalists, they were met by a few fairly normal looking people. Yesterdays Times tracked one down who had a job washing cars.
What is quite funny is the sheer number of fundamentalist Christian websites predicting the end of the world. This always strikes me as quiet funny, given the words of Jesus to beware of false prophets and cautioning that "no one knows the hour, except the father". In other words, if someone is predicting the end of the world, no less an authority than Jesus himself has pointed out that we have a fake on our hands.
The thing which always rather upsets me about these evangelical types, who clearly would love nothing more than to see all of their Godless neighbours devoured by the fires of hell (not really a very Christian attitude) and the world laid to waste in the realisation of the apocalyptic prophesies, is the fact they hope for the destruction of this beautiful planet. Last night I watched a series of programs on Dave Allen. Dave announced that he was an Atheist. Whilst I am not, I have always had a soft spot for Dave. His irreverence in the 1970's was a refreshing break. His sketch on the book of genesis was truly thought provoking. At the time he was seen as a major threat by the Irish establishment. Dave had what I have always believed to be the greatest quality of all. He had a love of life. He also had a great love of people and all their foibles. Many people of faith could learn a great deal from him.
There are all manner of "apocalyptic sects" who are waiting for the day when the world ends. What I find rather sad is that these people, who believe themselves to be the chosen people. Now normally I try not to be too judgemental, but I do suspect they are wrong. I believe that the message of the bible is one of helping your fellow man, not damning him. Jesus stated that we should remove the plank from our own eye, not criticise the splinter in our brothers. I've no idea when the world will end, it could be today, it could be tomorrow or it could be in a billion years. I personally hope that the third option is the correct one and I hope that long before then we all learn to treat each other with respect and love. I hope that we learn to live by the word of the Lords prayer and "forgive those who trespass against us". Sadly I suspect that day will be a long time a'comin.
It really doesn't matter what religion you are or whether you have none. We cannot predict when the end will come, but we can try and make the world a better place today. We can all try and treat each other with respect and we can all try and right the things wrong with our society. There are things worth fighting for such as justice, equality, honesty and truth. If someone has done a bad thing and seeks forgiveness, this should be given. This is not to say that the person should be excused the correct legal punishment, acceptance of this shows that the transgressor is trying to atone. To say "I'm sorry now let me off my punishment" is not true atonement.
I watched a Ken Loach film on Friday called The Angels Share, about young offenders in Glasgow. There was a powerful scene where a violent thug was brought face to face with the family of his victim. It was difficult to watch. It brought home to me the fact that for many offenders, recognition of their wrongdoing is the first step in rehabilitation. As I said at the start of this blog, I woke up this morning.... It is a new day and another day to appreciate what a great planet we live on. The Sun is shining (for a change) and I am about to take my dogs for a work. I for one am glad that the prophets of doom have yet again been proven wrong.
Note: For 2014, the Barnet Eye has decided that Sunday will be our day for reflecting on the wider world and life in general. We will concentrate on Barnet issues Mon-Fri.