On December 21 last year something profound was supposed to happen – millions of people worldwide were hoping for some form of global spiritual enlightenment. An end to greed, crime and war. Obviously, it didn’t. And over the course of the past year we’ve gotten all too many reminders that it didn’t.
In September, a 6 year-old girl in India was forced to marry the son of a 40 year-old man who had raped her. Also in India, a young couple were killed by their relatives after eloping. In the mean time, dozens of Nepalese laborers have died while working (for slave wages) on the construction of Qatar’s World Cup soccer stadiums. And while the world is already scattered with unused stadiums and venues, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are turning out to be the most expensive Olympics by far, at a projected $50 billion (handily put in perspective by Buzzfeed). Not even mentioning the scandal-ridden political climate in Russia, which has other countries carefully considering their delegations to the Games.
From personal drama’s, to large-scale oppression, corruption and continuing politically condoned inequality – the utopian Age Of Aquarius seems even further away now than it did a year ago. Money and politics continue to trump reason and goodwill, and even the so-called First World is a shadow of its former self. The number of developments one could point to as potential signs for change is painfully small. And now that the astrological new age hasn’t elevated earth and mankind to a higher level, so what will? We’ve been stuck in more or less the same level of (spiritual) evolution for so long that it is very questionable that we can achieve this without outside help. It does not look like mankind will be able to break the downward spiral without someone or something showing us the way.
And even then it remains to be seen if we have it in us at all, as depicted in South Park’s Pinewood Derby episode (2009), in which extraterrestrials make contact with humans for the first time, but decide to test us first by allowing us to stumble upon a huge amount of space cash. Of course, humans keep the cash and fail the test miserably, eventually even wiping the entire country of Finland off of the map. As a consequence, Earth is forever isolated from the rest of the Universe. The picture painted in this episode feels all to likely – and perhaps we’ll never know if it would turn out this way. But this (or any other) type of outside help may well be our only chance to break our current self-destructive habits. Let’s hope it will come some day.