Consider this...

"We find ourselves, not as a central player in the life of the cosmos, but as a tiny epiphenomenon, flourishing for a brief moment as we ride a wave of increasing entropy from the Big Bang to the quiet emptiness of the future universe. Purpose and meaning are not to be found in the laws of nature, or in the plans of any external agent who made things that way; it is our job to create them." - Sean Carroll, "From eternity to here"

John is worried about what will happen during 2012 … and the succeeding years. Unfortunately, optimism is not featured on the menu. He sees it like this.

Mankind is in an accelerating vehicle which is aimed straight at a very hard concrete wall. Inscribed on the wall in blood-dripping tags are the words “economic disaster”. We must quickly steer the vehicle in another direction before we crash into the wall.

Supposing we manage to turn away at the last minute, we find ourselves speeding towards another wall, this one labeled “energy shortage” in ominous black, with the foreboding word “war” written in parentheses after it.

If we again manage just in time to wrench the wheel aside and avoid this wall, we will be directly headed into yet another, this one labeled “ecological disaster” in lifeless dark brown. (“annihilation” written after it in parentheses).

If we can turn aside in time to avoid racking ourselves up on this one, we again are aimed … right back at the first one. And we will go on heading towards wall after wall until we crash into one or find the means of demolishing them.

But for that, we will have to stop the car. And think… and talk to each other … all of us — together.

So let 2012 be a year of solidarity, cooperation and renewal. Otherwise, we will remain hemmed in by the same old walls — until we destroy ourselves.

And to get those neurons up and running, try these hopeful quotations.