"When you see that your neighbour's beard is on fire, hurry and guard yours with a pail of water." - Ghanaian (Akan) proverb.
Buried deep in the recesses of every single human being's consciousness, is the belief that we're indestructible. This is why children play with fire. Parental warnings never seem to be enough to dissuade children from embracing the tempting beauty of flames. Some of the children who have been burnt by fire before, wise up and accept their physical vulnerability to fire. Others never learn from their blisters. Whatever the case may be, children grow up to become adults with this belief of indestructibility firmly rooted in their minds. This time it's not just fire we want to experiment with. We want to try tax evasion, deception, sexual promiscuity, drugs, murder, and all manner of epicurism. Where did we get this sense of false security? That, somehow we're immune to any type of destruction, whether global or local. That, in the universe's grand scheme of things, we're the untouchables. It amazes me to see the surprise in people's reactions when natural disasters, acts of terror, famine, senseless shootings, etc., occur. I am even more amazed by the reactions of people when they encounter personal loss such as the loss of a spouse through divorce or death, the loss of a job or business, the loss of an investment, the loss of a car or anything of sentimental and materialistic value. The reason why I am amazed is because, I have learned from my own personal experiences and from the news that, I should always prepare for the worst, even while I am expecting the best.
Even if some may disagree that somewhere hidden inside our souls is the belief of indestructibility, all of us agree and believe that we don't deserve to be destroyed. From the way we treat the resources of the earth and our fellow human beings, I doubt if any one on earth should even be thinking that we don't deserve to be destroyed; let alone, believe it. The intensity of this belief(that we don't deserve to be destroyed) varies from person to person, community to community, country to country. Having lived in both a third-world, developing nation(Ghana), and in a first-world, developed nation(USA) for more than 5 years, I have realized that citizens of developed countries have a more intense belief in the indestructibility of their humanity and community than that of developing countries. The simple reason behind this is this:
A person who lacks the necessary resources and the ability to insure himself against starvation, chaos, sickness, corruption and ignorance, feels more vulnerable to destruction than a person who has all or most of the necessary resources and ability to insure himself against the aforementioned ills.
The confidence we have in our so-called immunity against destruction is what leads us to dismiss Biblical records and prophecies of global destruction, even to the point of ridiculing them. We don't fear the Apocalypse, rather, we think it makes a good Hollywood movie. However, with every suicide-bombing, tornado, earthquake, acid rainfall, tsunami, hurricane, oil spillage, genocide, economic down-turn, political upheaval, shooting spree, abortion, laid-off employee, jobless college graduate, divorce, break up, still-born child, cancer diagnosis and death, we momentarily find ourselves doubting how secure we think we really are. You don't need a prophet of doom to tell you that the Earth is imploding itself into complete annihilation. Or that humankind is to blame for all of it. As contradictory as the following statement may sound, it is also true that:
It is when we accept that we are respectively vulnerable and eligible to and for destruction that we open ourselves for salvation.
I believe this is what we call, 'the fear of God'. The Earth, the World and all its inhabitants are the combined responsibility of all humans. What makes us think that the politicians we elected, and the celebrities we idolize are the only ones accountable for this great responsibility. Until we embrace our vulnerability to destruction and start living responsibly, I suggest that we prepare ourselves for the inevitable: a global destruction of cataclysmic proportions.