Monthly Archives: November 2012

Office Supplies and the End of the World

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Last weekend my friend Claude told me a great story from the recent Bioneers Conference, where R. Carlos Nakai spoke about his recent trip to meet with Mayan elders.

Carlos Nakai asked these Mayan elders about the end of their calendar, and just what the heck it all meant. Was it really true that their ancient calendar was coming to an end next month?

They answered yes, that was true.

“Well,” he asked, “what happens then?”

To which the Mayan elders replied, “We make a new one.”

In that moment it all became clear to me. Maybe you see where I am going with this already. If not, just think of all the months and years we have had to endure the endless 2012 prophecies, the New Age screeds with terrible graphics, the Christian fundamentalist cults, the incessant Facebook posts about paradigm shifts, eclipses, stone tablets, and ominous political movements.

It has all been completely unbearable, but after hearing Claude’s story I felt instantly better. Because it turns out the solution to all this doom-mongering is not global social upheaval at all—far from it.

In the end, the only thing that can restore balance to our tattered world is something we really should have thought of sooner: office supplies.

When you think about it, office supplies have been at the root of so many world civilizations meeting their demise. Either they’re writing down things they shouldn’t, or hiding them somewhere then forgetting where they put them, or in some cases neglecting to record the most important things, and suddenly all is lost.

No one seriously considers paper clips, until it is too late. But now we are presented with a golden opportunity to reverse the trend and end this profound clerical error. All it will take is for each of us to go to our nearest office supply store, buy an adequate amount of paper (all sizes), pens (let’s get different widths and colors just in case), scissors and push pins, and send them to the Mayan elders, c/o Guatemala.

Then when everyone comes down from Mt. Shasta, or Macchu Picchu, or wherever else they’re going this Winter Solstice, they’ll fire up their mobile devices and there, like a modern-day Christmas miracle, will be a deluge of posts and re-tweets of pictures from the sacred council chambers of Central America, where the Mayan elders will have revealed their brand new calendar!

Then maybe our millennial fever will finally play itself out, and we can all get to work cleaning things up and solving tough problems, the stuff that post-its just won’t fix.