Jumping off the Ivory Tower and facing a mid-career change can be disconcerting to one’s sense of inner equilibrium and well being at best – especially when the “jump” was really more of a “push”. They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but when that first step is off a cliff and into seemingly endless darkness, it isn’t exactly easy to restrain an overwhelming sense of pessimism. Nonetheless, the journey has to begin somewhere doesn’t it? Whether having jumped, stepped, or shoved off from the Ivory Tower, I find myself splattered on the pavement seeking new directions to somehow get my life back together and to find my way back home – wherever that may end up to be. However, as of right now, the future seems very uncertain.
The world is apparently going to end – as we know it – sometime in December this year. At least, that is, if the Mayans get their way. I suppose if anyone really knows something about worlds coming to an end it would be the Mayans. The best predictions regarding the future seem to be based on past experience – and the ancient Mayans certainly have experienced the end of their world – as they knew it – so it doesn’t look like we have any reason to doubt them. In the realm of prediction they were, after all, professionals. Compared with our own modern professionals, if the past is any indication of success or failure, the odds are clearly in the Mayans’ favor.
Take a look around you. Be honest. The evidence is not good – at least not good that the Mayans were wrong. The world – as we know it – appears to be burning on multiple levels. Nothing seems right any more, nor does it look like anything will be getting better any time soon. To say anything else to the contrary would be the modern equivalent of Nero fiddling while Rome is aflame around him. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to clearly see the flames – or hear the music – through the din of incessant fiddling. And don’t fool yourself. Politicians, Lawyers, Corporate Leaders, Educators, and corrupt College Administrators have known the score for years, and yet they continue to fiddle away while our lives hang in the balance. The Titanic was clearly doomed, but the band played on. Music can be a wonderful thing, but when we become so utterly distracted from the Truth – from avoidable doom – it becomes an imperative that we somehow Change The Tune.
Maybe – just maybe – there remains enough time for us to change the tune, and in so doing, change the dance – the dance that spirals downward to our own doom. However, the answer may not be as simple as it seems because it still begs the question – who controls the airwaves? Whoever controls the airwaves chooses the tune and determines the dance as well.
Perhaps it is dangerous to ask such questions in this day & age, but some questions just need to be asked, even if we do not like the answers. Sometimes the answers may be even more dangerous than some of the questions. And for those of us with any semblance of a post-secondary education whatsoever, shouldn’t we be leading the way in asking these questions and in finding the answers?
We may not know exactly who controls the airwaves, but we know for certain who does not. Whose song do you dance to? Whenever the song has not been chosen by us then we will always be out of tune, and at the current moment, unless we happen to be Nero, we have to admit that most of us seem out of tune with just about everything.
Let us not forget, however, that Nero was a total schmuck. Times have changed to be sure, but not all that much. Whatever your status – in the Ivory Tower or somewhere outside of it – if you can hear the music then you know what needs to be done. The choice is ours. It is time to knock the fiddle from Nero’s icy grasp once and for all. It is either that or simply resign ourselves to go the Mayan way.