Posted by Michael Finkelstein | December 13th, 2012
The Twelfth Moon, the last day, the 11th hour. Our lexicon is filled with terms and phrases that so dramatically capture “the end.” Just think about the word, deadline. Recently I had the occasion to reflect on our use of language when a magazine reporter told me what her “deadline” was. I understood the obvious message. But perhaps not as obvious is the implication of how overly dramatic we, as a society, are about “the end,” and how we seem to exaggerate everything in its path to make a point. “Final sale,” “last of its kind,” “one spot left…” Our society has done quite the job on communicating urgency, or rather, over-communicating it. Used relentlessly in sales and promotion for retail and consumer spending, these “ultimate” words seem to strike a chord with us because we’ve become so worried about missing out on things, running out of time, not performing or succeeding, that we will do virtually anything to meet act on them. Of greater concern, however, as a society driven by capitalism, our whole lives are caught up in this drama.
But, dare I ask, why? For what? If I miss the sale, there will be another one tomorrow, and if there isn’t, then what will really happen? Nothing, really…this same sentiment applies with death. Whether you believe in afterlife or not, we all put so much pressure and emphasis on the end that we forget about the journey leading up to and what comes after the so-called “end.” While the truth is, after an end comes a new beginning. Our version of the standard clock reflects this. After the 12 comes the 1. Without missing a beat, the cycle begins again. I’m starting to realize, in my life specifically, how much more valuable this way of thinking can be, and how it will help us achieve a skillful way of life, rather than one cluttered and confused with deadlines and disappointments when we forget this truth.
This month, I challenge you all, in what may feel like the 11th hour, to start looking forward to the new cycle that kicks in after the clock strikes midnight and with the moon that will follow this one, the one after the twelfth.