While sitting with a friend at a coffee shop in Seapoint - the day crisp and clear, our cappuccinos hot and fabulous – we were gabbing on about this and that, when a gentleman standing near by having a smoke, took it upon himself to join in on our conversation – giving us his 2 cents on what we were discussing. He seemed nice enough (as nice as one can be when blatantly eavesdropping) and we all continued chatting about the everyday things that people chat about.
The conversation however, quickly turned into a rather serious lecture about the destruction of our planet, and how we are all going to perish in a toxic mess of our own making. And there we were just minutes before, two people having a delightful cup of coffee on a Tuesday afternoon, innocently discussing the lighter side of life.
He proceeded to mention documentaries by the dozen, websites and books that all back up his theory. The theory, in basic terms, being that by this time next year, the world will be suffocated by a mass of dirt caused by a catastrophic explosion of major volcano’s that will erupt and break through our planets crust. Leaving earth for dead.
‘If the toxic fumes don’t kill you first’, he said, ‘then you’ll just suffocate to death’. Well thank you sir. Here I thought we were enjoying yet another lovely day in this wonderful place we call Cape Town, when what I should have been doing was focusing on our impending doom.
Now I’m not saying it isn’t important to know what’s happening in the world, and to be conscience about how we treat it – these are vital things. But here stands a guy whose whole being is so obsessed with various conspiracy theories that it has taken over his life. So much so, that he feels the need to lecture complete strangers, in avid detail might I add, about the mass collection of Photons in the earth’s core that will soon explode.
I have come across his kind before. Back when the Zeitgeist documentary was at its prime. I some how got trapped into a one on one with this kid who ran through the entire film with me piece by piece, frame by frame, while I politely smiled and nodded in understanding. It was horrific. And I remember thinking, what a terrible way to live – just an awful way to view the world.
The two of us stumbled out of there shocked and slightly traumatized. With thoughts of getting our affairs in order and contacting our loved ones before it was too late. But then perspective came along. You cannot live your life like that. Yes, you need to be kind to the earth, you need to be aware of what is happening in our world and you need to try and do what you can to help make it better. But don’t let it consume you. There is a lot of bad going around, sure, but there is also a lot of good. And I think it makes for a better life, a happier one at least, if we put our focus and energy on the latter.
So while the 2012 conspiracy looms, I say smile, take a walk, meet up with friends, laugh, go to gym, make good food, drink good wine, live. Just try adding a little ‘green’ into the mix. But for the love of God, do not become absorbed in the morbid fear of approaching destruction and ruin. That ain’t no life worth living.