Commentary

Hello, 2012!

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By Blair Jackson

This is the year that could potentially bring the end of civilization as we know it. Even though the hype surrounding 2012 is engrossed in half-baked mythology, there is something undeniably mystical about this year.

The end of the Mayan calendar has forced our culture to look into history, at the Mayans, at our ancestors and the indigenous peoples of the land. As an ancient people, they provided a calendar that accounted for 2,500 years. There is a feeling, not that the world will end, but that, instead, 2012 is where the Mayan scope of imagination ended.

How far ahead are we looking — both as individuals and as a culture? What are we in the process of building? What will we leave behind? When will we be considered the ancient ones?

These are the grand thoughts I have when I ponder 2012. This is the year of prophecy and expectation, and if it ends in apocalypse, I want to spend my remaining days on Earth happy and healthy.

So, here we are, a civilization presented with a flimsy proposition of death, not threatening enough to terrify us, but interesting enough to entertain as a far-fetched possibility.

I am very curious to know — how will we behave?

On a personal level, I have quit smoking. (In the long list of practices I have discontinued, this has been the most difficult.) I have started running and am nixing fast food and frozen food from my diet — an initiative that influenced the “Prepare for Success” guide in this edition of TFW.

After reading a New York Times article on the factors behind American obesity, I began to grasp the larger picture of eating habits in our country. We, as a people, are simply not controlling our diets well. We have emerged into the millennium as a consumer culture that merits convenience almost unconditionally.

Nutrition and exercise have fallen by the wayside of essential American values, leaving a market for corporations to exploit those who are lazy, apathetic or uninformed about food preparation, nutrition and exercise.

I am one of those people, and it is a struggle to eat three healthy meals on a tight schedule. The challenge for me, so far, has been taking the time to prepare food and plan meals; but knowing that I am in control of what I put in my body is keeping me motivated and focused.

For anyone else who is planning similar goals in 2012, I wish you the best of luck.
Feel free to email me at bjackson@nwaonline.com to share your insight, advice or stories as you change yourself for the better during this new year.

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