One week left to live

03:21, Dec 17 2012

You have one week left to live. Seven days to do what you always wanted to do. 168 hours to say goodbye to the people you love and 10,080 minutes until the end of the world.

Next Friday will go down in history as either the ultimate real life disaster movie, or the day the world lead itself to be fooled by the Mayans, 1200 years after the civilisation disappeared.

In 3114 BC the Mayan Long Count calendar began and December 21, 2012 is the last day in the diary of people who once roamed Mesoamerica. This ticking time bomb has been prophesised by many as the end of the world.

In China tinned food and candles have been flying off the shelf this month as thousands of terrified people stock up in preparation for the apocalypse. 

The French are less concerned about their seemingly imminent death. Believers of the prophecy announced they would be converging on a mountain top, waiting for extra terrestrials to swoop down and save them. Authorities have since shut down access to the mountain safe zone, known as Pic de Bugarach, leaving the believers crying into their croissants.

In pure Kiwi fashion and exemplifying a "she'll be right" attitude, New Zealanders are yet to build an Ark of biblical proportions. However, recent tornados and earthquakes in the land of the long white cloud have sent a shiver down the spine of many people, leaving them believing this slew of natural disasters may indeed point to the end of the world as we know it.


Despite having survived Y2K and various animal and bird influenzas, the world has become obsessed with the ending of the Mayan calendar. Many are adopting a 'You Only Live Once' attitude and are attempting to do the craziest things they can, claiming they are living life to the fullest before the earth bursts into flames next week.

The Mayans ran two shorter calendars at the same time as the Long Count, so to them next Friday would have symbolised what we can only imagine as the biggest New Years Eve party you could ever hope for. Celebrating the Long Count calendar kicking over into the second phase would have been the event of the millennia for them. 

Today Mayan descendants in southern Mexico and Central America are preparing for a week of festivities to welcome in what they describe as the beginning of a new era. Unlike the rest of the world they don't see this as doomsday or the end. They see it as the beginning of a spiritual awakening. They are spending their money on tequila, not survival kits.

While the world has fallen victim to its own gullibility there is a lot of good that can come from believing the end is nigh.

Those with a bucket list are fervently jumping out of planes, travelling the world and telling their long lost crushes just how truly, madly, deeply in love with them they are. There is nothing like the fear of death to make you actually start living. 

Perhaps 5000 years ago the Mayans foresaw a generation tied to technology, too scared to eat that piece of chocolate gateau cake and a generation who had forgotten what was actually important in life.

It's possible the Mayans deliberately set out to scare us all into undergoing that spiritual awakening. It's possible they wanted us to enter the next phase of the Long Count calendar with a renewed sense of purpose. But it's also possible they never imagined the world would become so obsessed with a calendar created in 3114 BC.

But just in case, take this week to tell people they are amazing, do what you have always been too scared to do, tell your crush you adore them, and damn it Janet, eat that piece of chocolate gateau cake.

The Marlborough Express