2013 – the year that wasn't going to happen!
As 2012 drew to a close there were many rumours about the Mayan predictions that the world would end in December 2012.
In fact the most basic research on the internet showed that what had been predicted was less an "end-of-the-world" apocalypse and more a transition from one world order to another.
How smooth or challenging it will be seems dependent on our ability to embrace or resist change.
About 500 years BC, Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, proposed the idea that "the only permanent thing in the universe is change" – an expression we still use today.
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But change is an odd thing: easily spotted when it is cataclysmic, often overlooked because it is so gradual and rarely comfortable when it is noticed by individuals, institutions or religions.
Thinking about change reminds me of the prayer by 20th century American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, adopted by many 12-step programs:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
As we begin 2013 most of us are facing many changes – personal, institutional and global and I, for one, would like to improve how I live with change.
My ability to do this relies on having skills and awareness which my education seems to have left me woefully uninformed about.
At a time when knowledge abounds, we need people growing in wisdom and compassion, not know-how, to cope with ever more demanding levels of change.
So, how do you think you will fair in the coming year? Will you stick your head in a bucket and your heels in the sand and hope for the best?
Or stick your head above the parapet and try to stay involved in the world and its changes?
And where will you find the skills, strength and wisdom for a challenging life?
Hopefully, your faith or belief tradition will provide you with this. And if it doesn't, perhaps it is time to find something which does.
May you be inspired to embrace change for a better world in 2013. Happy New Year from all the Saturday Thought contributors.