Everybody remembers what they thought on December 20, 2012. If the Mayan Calendar prediction came true, then the world would end. Whether it was a bang, or a whimper, or a polar shift of the continents, the world we knew would dissipate into ash and fire, drowned in waters and split apart. I also thought about my life up to that point—how it wasn’t finished yet, how I could’ve done more, and how I would like to see myself should everyone I know die at this point.

Fortunately, December 21, 2012 came and went with nothing of incidence happening; for example, I went to school, the last day before winter break, went to bed, and woke up to a new day. I had more time to do all the things I wanted to do and had to in my life.

Now, five years later, I had the impression that the world may come to a blistering end, a feeling which festered in me since last year’s election. The events which transpired in the following days made it seem more apocalyptic, to the point where I think about survival sometimes, and even write poetry like this one here.

Curse the flames which arise to the sun,

Where the embers have clouded

And smoke has won.

Curse the trail of ashes among its wake,

A prelude to a naïve strike,

To which a wretched king makes.

Traveling through former wetlands,

Now dried to bare branches,

He raises his hand, to bring out the wolves.

Snarling, hissing, teething,

They rush forward, only to lose their bite,

All because the conditions are naught.

The arms of the devil only hold malevolence

And hypocrisy, weaving blankets of gold

Only for those who pay it all.

They embrace until they strangle,

Giving more until it’s impossible to not take

From its bosom, ever so cold.

As the world freezes and

The utter bitterness of the fallout sets in,

Nobody wakes up from the surrealist dream,

Lest it collapses on them.

Waking up, with ashes on their lips,

They pray for nothing, as even the gods died

With a breath of smoke, nothingness included.

However, with a lot of people sending money to a variety of causes, protesting against policies through contacting their officials or going up to their offices, and using that to create art to address such issues, I hold hope we may abort an apocalypse of multiple proportions, whether it be the accelerating effects of climate change or nuclear warfare.

If I learned anything in my twenty years of the world, it is that life doesn’t play out like in the movies. We are protagonists to our own stories alone, but minor characters if not antagonists to everyone else’s. In the context of fighting off catalysts of any local, if not international, cataclysm, it’s not something expansive, with one great final battle against all the forces of nature—if not each other. It’s all the little details and actions which make people more aware about the horrors a changed planet would be, as a result of negligence of science or diplomatic means.

John F. Kennedy once said in a UN General Assembly speech, “We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world--or to make it the last.” These words still ring true today, if not more so, in terms of what direction we want to take the world.