Monday, January 30, 2012

End of the World?

One of the themes in my book, Code Name Viper, deals a little bit with the end of the Mayan calendar, which takes place this coming December 21st. The whole business about the Mayan calendar is pretty complex, but it has some folks running scared, thinking that it marks the end of the world.

So, what do I think about that?

Here's what I think — it's a waste of time trying to predict the "end of the world." We can spend our time and effort chasing around worrying about something that might or might not happen (I've already seen more than one previous "end of the world" prediction crash and burn). Or we can spend our time and energy getting ready for events that are more likely to happen within our lifetime.

In all honesty, the end of your world (or mine) doesn't depend on the end of THE world. If we get careless, or an accident overtakes us, our world can come to an end regardless of what the calendar says. That's just reality.

If we don't want that to happen, we need to start paying attention to the real risks in life. Let me make myself clear about that — I'm not saying don't take risks. Heck, I've gone bungee jumping before, and enjoyed it. Would do it again if I had the chance. I'm a scuba diver. I've jumped out of airplanes, rappelled out of helicopters, and was a demolition sergeant on a Special Forces A-Team. Does that sound like a guy who doesn't like taking risks? Trust me, I don't want to die in a rocking chair. Life is for living, not just for seeing how long I can prevent death from overtaking me.

But, at the same time, I'm not willing to take "unacceptable" risks. An unacceptable risk is one for which you are not prepared. I won't bungee jump until after the bungees are strapped around my ankles. I won't jump out of an airplane until I have the parachute on. I won't blow things up until I've been trained in the proper use of the explosives. Get it? Taking those kinds of risks would be stupid.

The real risks in life are those things we're either not paying attention to — so they surprise us and take us down — or they're the ones we're simply not prepared to deal with because we haven't become experienced or trained to handle them.

So the key to forestalling the end of your world is to pay attention to what's going on around you (so you don't get blindsided), get educated and go out and get some experience. Remember my motto: "Fill your head with the best information, fill your hands with skill, and fill your life with experience."

Forget about the Mayan calendar. Get out and live life.


  1. They just got tired of working on their stupid calendar, but their world did come to an end, and goodbye to them.

    Ain't no way in hell I'll go bungee jumping.

    Wanna test your mettle? Try making good time on the 101 coast highway, I came back on I-5 at 70 MPH, yahooo.

  2. I'm not jumping out of a perfectly good airplane!

    I like your motto though!

    Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  3. I'm not jumping out of a perfectly good airplane!

    No problem, commercial flights don't have parachutes anyway, everyone smacks the ground at the same time. :-)