69°F & Clear 7 day forecast Saturday, August 23, 2014

Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Make the most of last moments

The Apophis asteroid came and went two weeks ago without as much as a sideways glance by most people (don’t worry, it’ll be back in 2036). No harm, no foul. However, the latest nuclear threats by North Korea means the clock for our species is ticking. Disarmament talks with Iran that have come to a grinding, pessimistic halt means that said clock is running a bit fast.

I know I always poke fun at predictions of the end of the world, but with so many potential catalysts being juggled around at once, we’re kind of playing with fire now. This isn’t some crackpot theory about ancient calendars or the return of Jesus for our often talked about final judgment. This is the potential end of life on this planet, as we know it. For serious this time. If you’ve read Watchmen, you know that’s not cool at all.

Upon first hearing the news I began to think about what I would do if I found out that the end was actually going to occur. Would I call my parents and give them the classic Bruce Willis Armageddon talk? Or would I just thank my lucky stars that I wouldn’t have to pay my student loans back and sit back with a glass of scotch? While thinking about what I would do in my final moments I realized the implications of such a decision. I mean really, what would you do if you realized that every dream, aspiration and hope you’ve ever had would soon be made irrelevant with the impact of an asteroid or nuclear bomb? That 2000 page Harry Potter fan fiction piece you were working on doesn’t seem so important now does it?

Every course of action I thought about taking had alluded to things I secretly wanted to do in the first place: confess my love to someone special, tell my friends how much they really mean to me, try to find a red panda and cuddle the living hell out of it. That’s when it hit me, why can’t I just do all of that stuff now? Why wait until the extinction of my species to tell the people around me how much their friendship means to me?

I’m not planning on going crazy with this, but I realized that I felt a lot better with myself taking chances and going on impulses. I started donating to a charity to help save the last 10,000 red pandas that are in the wild. I went out on a date with a person I’ve wanted to ask out for years! In hindsight I’m thankful my last actions on this planet of existence wasn’t that date (it went really, really horribly). It feels good knowing that I’m leaving no stone unturned.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t put your dreams, hopes or even impulses on hold for anything. Our spontaneity and sometimes irrational tendencies are what make us human. It’s what makes us beautiful. Mind you it’s these tendencies that have created this mess, but I mean… no species is perfect. In an ailing world where horrible atrocities happen on a daily basis, our species still finds time to laugh, love and cuddle cute animals. Don’t wait to do something until it seemingly won’t matter. That’s too easy, and things might not end up as awesome as you hoped they would be.
nsmith@lanthorn.com



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