Rated: E · Short Story · Inspirational · #1629855
A mysteries old man eases a families concerns about 2012
The End of a Circle
J. E. McCarty
Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and there eight year old twins, David and Susan, are a typical American family. On a fair Tuesday afternoon in March, they are walking through their local park.
Jill says to her husband Bob, “The park does not look like it did when I grew up here, Bob, leafs do not look as green and the flowers do not look as colorful. And, there seems to be a lot more cement where there once were grass and trees. Or, is it just my imagination?”
“You are probably right, Jill. That seems to be what has been happening everywhere that I have been in recent years. Was there a twelve foot fence around this park when you were growing up?”
“No, I don’t think it has been there for very long, Bob. What do you think this world is coming to?”
“I wish I knew, I think. The weather seems stranger every year. The economy is trying to climb out of the mud. I sometimes wonder what kind of world we will have when David and Susan are ready for college. And now, there is all that talk about 2012.”
“Bob, do you hear a man shouting up there?”
“Yes, now that you mention it. Maybe we should check and see if we need to call the police.”
Just before they pass one of the park’s restrooms, they can see the man who is yelling. He is standing upon milk crates yelling of all who pass, “The end of the world is 2012! Repent, before it is too late!” repeatedly.
Because the man can now see them, they walk by quietly without stopping while he continues shouting his message. After they pass the man, Jill notices that David looks concerned and Susan seems upset. She says, “Susan, David, don’t believe what that man is saying. He is a nut trying to get attention.”
After hearing Jill, Bob adds, “This world has a lot of crazy people. It’s best to just let what they say go in one ear and out the other.”
The twins look back, but they seem a little more at ease.
After they walk a few more yards, they experience a sudden gust of wind and confusion. A few seconds later, the wind disappears. Everyone around is a little dismayed.
Once they regain there composure, Jill says, “Look, Bob, there is an odd looking old man sitting on the bench ahead, that I don’t recall seeing there before that wind hit us.”
The white haired old man is just sitting there looking across the park, smiling widely. Not knowing what to think of him, the four of them quietly continue walking. As they pass the bench, the old man says, “Beautiful day we are having.”
They turn and look at him. Bob carefully walks closer to the man, with the rest of the family following at a distance.
Bob says, “Judging by the weather, that is debatable, old timer.”
“It is debatable, if you say it is, great one.”
“Was that supposed to be funny?”
“No, I was not trying to be funny, sir. I am saying that, your experience is what you say it is. And, you are greater than you have ever dreamed in this lifetime.”
Jill says, “Sir, what makes you think my husband is so special?”
“I did not say he was any more special, ma’am. I would say that for everyone here.”
“That is a profound statement.”
Bob then says, “That is interesting, old man. What do you think about the doomsday profit up the path?”
“The man standing on the milk crates is speaking his truth. However, what is true for him may not be true for another.”
“How can something be true for one person, but not another, sir?”
“In my experience, that that is seldom changes and the truth often differs with one’s perspective.”
“Now, you are playing with words, old man.”
“Sir, when words are the best you have to communicate with others, it is easy to misunderstand one another. So, you may wish to choose your words wisely.
“People have long held the idea that truth, as you know it, is universal. I have found that facts are physical, that that is, is metaphysical and Truth, as you know it, is personal.”
“Well, on Judgment Day, we will all find out the real truth and we will pay the consequences for our actions; and that will be the end of all of this, sir.”
“I can see your viewpoint, young man. Are you aware that, for most people in this world, every day is a judgment day, and they pay the consequences for their judgments every day?”
“That is an interesting point, if nothing else.”
“Alright, and as for ‘the end of all of this,’ have you ever seen anything in this world just cease to be?”
“Of course not!”
“What have seen, sir?”
“I have seen things break, stop working or fall apart. I have seen plants, animals and people die. And, I have seen thing no longer be as they were.”
The old man picks up a small stick and draws a circle in the dirt, and says, “What if all of those things are only changes in things, situations and forms of life? Look down there at the Earth. Show me the end of a circle.”
“There is no end in a circle.”
“That is correct. I believe that all things on Earth, and in all of creation, move in circles. Nothing ever truly ends. But, all things change form.”
“I don’t know about that. What if the predictions for 2012 are correct? There may not be anybody left after that.”
“I do not know just what will happen in 2012. I am sure there will be big changes sometime in the not too distant future. People frequently imagine worst-case scenarios. They stir up a lot of emotion, and emotions are very creative. The Human race may soon start to grow out of that.
“When people predict the end of something, they often forget to use the words ‘as we know it.’ And, when they do use those words, many people forget them. When people say, ‘The end of the world, as we know it,’ they may not necessarily mean that many people will die, but that the world will be very different from how we now know it to be.
“Many undesirable things are possible. Many people are always uncomfortable with changes. However, that does not mean that, in the end, the changes you will experience will be undesirable. Everything is always changing. Any change can be glorious.”
There is another gust of wind and confusion. It ends as quickly as it started. They look around. The old man is nowhere to be seen. But, the stick and the circle are still on the ground.
Looking down at the circle in the dirt, Bob says, “Everything moves in circles…. It is an interesting idea, even though I am not ready to believe it. But, who was that old man and where did he go?”
Jill says, “I don’t know who that old man was. But, that may not be important. However, his message may be very important. I think his main point may be that we would be much better off spending more energy observing life objectively, and responding to it, and a lot less energy imagining the worst that could happen, and reacting to that. And, that anything is possible in life; the future is completely in our hands.”
Jill looks back at the twins and asks, “Susan, David, how do you feel about what that old man said?”
Susan replies, “Some of his words were a little hard to understand, but they made me feel calmer.”
“How do you feel about what he said, David?” Jill asks.
“It made me feel better too. I noticed he did not talk about himself. And, he did not tell us what to believe, like the man back there did.”
Bob says, “Jill, I have not been taught that we have complete control over the future, but that we should trust in God. However, I think the old man has a point that people frequently imagine worst-case scenarios. Maybe, that is another thing that people should let go in on ear and out the other. This talk about the year 2012 might be one of those things.
“The Mayan Calendar was written a long time ago. It may be wrong, or we may just not understand what it means.”