When is a prank call a wake-up call?

The 14-year-old boy was trying to put his vision of December 2012 into words for me. He was clearly shaken by what he was seeing and as confused as anyone looking into the future might expect to be. He didn’t make a habit of this, but he was one of those special, Version 2.0 kids and sometimes he just ‘saw’ things. I was used to him picking up a book I’d been reading, for example, and without glancing beyond the cover, summarising the information it contained. This was a bit different, though.

“How can you possibly see the future?” I was asking. “Surely it’s only potential as yet.”
“Oh yes,” he agreed, readily. “There are infinite possibilities… It’s just that they all seem to lead to this one point.”

So for the last seven years (the conversation happened in 2005) I’ve been watching with interest as one after another of his predictions has come true.

“It will all start with finance,” was his opening line. He explained as best he could that the financial world would go through a drastic and sudden change. He saw a deep polarity between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ developing and said it would have an effect on everyone. We would all have to re-think our relationship with the financial world.

In 2008 I texted him. “U predicted this.”
“Yep,” he replied.

The financial crisis, which still rumbles on, was the first of these events – the ones that take accepted aspects of our daily life and shake them to the core, until we wake up to what’s going on and decide to make some drastic changes.

Here in the UK, we’ve followed up with the MP’s expenses issue, the media intrusion debate and the maelstrom unleashed over allegations about a deceased DJ’s sexual behaviour. Other countries have had their own political, financial and social awakenings – the so-called Arab Spring being the most wide-ranging and important. Quite suddenly, shabby, unpleasant but long-tolerated practices cease to be acceptable. Dirty linen is hauled up for public inspection and washed very thoroughly.

The changes are happening at a personal level, too.
“It will be a bit like Noah’s Ark,” the boy told me. “Not the same as that, but something like it.”

Watching pictures of people’s homes, cars and livelihoods being washed away by the extreme floods this year has witnessed in many parts of the world, I can see what he meant.

The Chinese glyph for ‘crisis’ is, I learned recently, a mixture of two others – ‘disaster’ and ‘opportunity’.

The loss of life, given the huge amount of devastation, has been relatively small, but the changes at neighbourhood, family and individual levels have been massive.

Based on what my prophetic young friend told me, I’d suggest that this World Shift – the much-heralded 2012 End of Age – is not about mass destruction so much as mass transformation.

What if you’d always indulged in some rather dodgy work practices because everyone around you did, and then found yourself at the heart of a massive scandal? A disaster for you, but an opportunity to become more authentic in future. What if you’d dreamed of giving up your job and ‘following your bliss’ but been held back by knowing you had to keep up the payments on the car and the house? Suddenly they’re both washed away in a flood. Where does that leave you?
With both a disaster and an opportunity.

So, then, what if making prank calls to innocent victims had been a seedy but accepted part of your professional life? No one could doubt, after watching the interview, the depth of horror, remorse and pain those people in Australia are experiencing, or the deep changes the recent tragic event will make to their lives. Perhaps, though, they – and others engaged in similar forms of ‘entertainment’ – are being given an opportunity to make some core changes.

Our individual and collective wake-up calls to live a more honest, authentic and transparent life, free of subterfuge, sleaze and unkindness began with a tap on the shoulder. If we ignored that, the taps became more insistent… and if we reach the end of this Great Age without heeding that call, surely we can expect the kind of sledgehammer blow we are seeing around us.

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