Journal #4: At World's End
Despite my adoration of post-apocalyptic games like the Shin Megami Tensei series, Dark Souls, and so on, I'm at a loss for words about how I think the world will end. Truthfully, I don't think I have any predictions on how the world will end because I'll be dead long before it'll ever happen. A simultaneous blessing and curse of living in the internet age are how the free flow of information everywhere at any given time shows us what happened in the past along with what's currently happening in the present. When you have such information readily accessible at any given time, speculating about the end of the world seems rather ludicrous because it'll always seem like the world is about to end at any given moment.
Countless generations of people before me thought that the world would end with events like WW1, WW2, the Cuban Missile Crisis, or more recently, with how much of a shitshow 2020 was. Meanwhile, some people are going through absolute hell right now in countless parts of the world. Aside from big-name atrocities like the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya of Myanmar or the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, there are other, smaller atrocities happening right under our very noses. Take a look through Soft White Underbelly's YouTube channel and see how many stories of incest, rape, prostitution, drug addiction, and/or mental illness you can stomach before you have to turn the video off and get some air.
However, even in the thick of all those atrocities, geopolitical drama, societal unrest, and so on, humanity as a whole seems to find a way to keep going. For all the problems that society has caused, like climate change, pollution, deforestation, the extinction of countless species of flora and fauna, and so on, we've always found a way to “right” the wrongs of the past. Singapore has no shortage of flora growing all over its skyscrapers as they actively work to combat the effects of their (justified) urbanisation. Similarly, we have smaller-scale projects like the Billion Oyster Project in New York Harbour or Groundcycle in Brooklyn that promote environmental awareness while also trying to restore life to now-desolate parts of the city.
On an international scale, we have NGOs like Doctors Without Borders and One Acre Fund that actively provide medical treatment and humanitarian aid to areas of the world that are either impoverished, underdeveloped, geopolitical hotbeds for conflict, etc. Hell, Akon went out of his way to use his fame and money to help bring electricity to his home country of Senegal. I understand that these ventures, NGOs, and such have their limitations and that they're not without vitriol. However, to deny the benefits that these things have provided would be sheer lunacy.
To tie back in with the central question of “How do I think the world will end?” I think the world, for me, will end whenever I die. That's the ultimate truth for all of us, really. The physical world has existed for billions of years, and it'll continue to live in some form or another long after we're dead. However, our perception of the world around us is what truly matters. That only has a fleeting lifespan as long as our own, and it's liable to end in any number of ways. It's so easy to forget that amid the sea of constant information, there's a light to be found at the end of the tunnel. That light is our own lives, and how we can use it to benefit ourselves, the people around us, and the world that we live in. We may be limited in our capacity to make tangible change, but as the wise John Witherspoon once said: “You do what you can.”