A sense of optimism about the end
Twelve (12) is an important number not only in our consciousness but also in our life and history. There are 12 hours in our wall clock. The 60 seconds in a minute, the 60 minutes in an hour and the 24 hours in a day are all divisible by 12. There are 12 months in a year. There are 12 zodiac signs to look up to in comics or magazines. Our duodenum (duo = two + decem = ten) is the initial part of our small intestine and is about 12 fingers breadth, hence, the name. If our ribs are normal, they should count to 12 pairs. Most probably, we buy by anything by the dozen if we are a regular customer in Carbon or Divisoria. Using the metric system, we measure in 12’s as one foot is 12 inches. Artists use the 12 basic hues in the color wheel: three primary colors, three secondary colors and six tertiary colors. For soccer enthusiasts, the 12th player supports the other eleven on the field. IT habitués use 12 function keys on their keyboard from F1 to F12. And those who love the classics must have read William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” both of which are divided into 12 books. So we see how 12 is very relevant in our lives—from our wrist watch to the 12 faces in the deck of cards we play. And even if Jesus was born in a cold wintry night, there are still 12 days of Christmas.
It is not by accident that Christ chose 12 apostles and that when Judas hanged himself, a replacement was elected in due time to complete the 12. It is also not by accident that there are 12 sons of Jacob who started the 12 tribes of Israel; that there are Israel’s 12 significant prophets, 12 important judges, 12 great patriarchs, 12 great kings, and 12 recognized princes; that there are 12 articles of faith in the Apostle’s Creed; that the Book of Revelation talked about a woman wearing a crown of 12 stars and of 12,000 people sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel.
Twelve has been an important part of our life history and now some people say that our world history will end in 2012. Now more than ever, number 12 might also become a significant number in your own life.
People in the past have heard a lot of end-date predictions. As a reaction, they would sell their properties, stop schooling, quit their jobs and prepare for the doom that is soon to happen. Some would even go to war trying to convert others to Christianity or force them to join a cult. There are also records of martyrdom, mass suicides and heroism. Unfortunately, if there is one thing in common about these predictions, it is the fact that none of them came true. The world continues to move on and life goes on as usual But the search is not over yet. One of the latest predictions is gaining too much popularity—the widely publicized and the one that receives the attention of millions: 2012.
The year 2012 is a favorite subject in lectures, class discussions, documentaries, symposiums, workshops, magazines and newspaper articles, movies, and in news media. Many books are written about it. Even major TV channels around the world have something to say about it. In the Internet alone , there are thousands of sites abut the 2012 topic. This extraordinary interest is mainly attributed to the Mayan Calendar, which will compete its 13th cycle on Dec. 21, 2012. Many believe that the world will end on this day. It is not difficult to convince the masses that the world indeed needs a change if not a complete re-creation. The world is in a mess right now.
The book “Better 2012 and Beyond. A Christian Perspective on the End of the World” by Christopher C. Salonga, RCJ, gives 12 reasons that condition our minds about the need for total change and perhaps, a new Earth. These are natural disasters, diseases, crime and violence, extinction of species, population explosion, moral degradation, destruction of family, death from various sources, worldwide poverty, climate changes, wars and acts of terrorism, godlessness of people.
The year 2012 is nothing but an expression of our modern fears. We are afraid of disasters that can possibly terminate life on earth. We are afraid of global change, of consciousness that can usher a new era of instant spirituality. We are afraid of new predictions that provide solid grounds for their credibility. It is never ridiculous that we are scared of so many things—from asteroids to aliens; from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions from pandemic to collapsed economy. But it will be utter absurdity to do nothing to confront our fears. It is useless to run in circles because we are afraid. Our fears will lead us nowhere. They become useful only if such fears urge us to create a dramatic change in the way we live our lives a global community.
I would like to share the 12 BE’s to prepare for a good end: Be Still, Be Patient, Be Present, Be Simple, Be Responsive, Be Positive, Be Charitable, Be Grateful, Be Hopeful, Be Peaceful, Be Missionary, and Believe.
Here’s wishing a better 2012 and beyond. Pit Senyor!
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.