The Millennium: Are You Ready For It?

John Ohliger, the author of The Millennium Survival Kit, asks, Are we Ready for 2000?

Ah, the millennium! just a few years till the year 2000, only the second millennium in history. Many Christians believe that millennium means the thousand year period when Jesus will rule the earth in a time of joy, serenity, prosperity, and justice for the saved. Fundamentalists warn that the year 2000 could contain the day of judgment for us all.

The current Pope in his first encyclical promised at the very least “a year of great jubilee” in observance of the 2,000th anniversary of Christ’s birth. “The National Catholic Reporter commented: “Given the propensities of our consumer economy, the mind boggles at the commercial activities that will surround an official year-long celebration of Christmas.”

As 2000 draws closer other religious and political groups, government agencies, futurists, and planning technologists are zeroing in on the year as the moment of transition to a global New Age, as the opportunity to introduce special interest reforms, or as the time to market the latest mass-produced miracle of the electronic computerized post-industrial information revolution. Well over 15,000 articles and far more than 2,000 books have appeared since mid-century with prophecies and predictions about the first year of the 21st century.

Give Time to Time

It’s become a cliche in the twilight of the 20th century to bemoan the unseemly heedless pell-mell rush we are all enmeshed in these days. Recently “Time” magazine even devoted a cover story to it: “How America Has Run Out of Time.” Our frenzied feelings will certainly increase as the years march on to the 21st century. But Nick Giammetti, the late baseball commissioner and Yale president, offers a path out of the frenzy: “Give Time to Time.”

To make it easier for you to “give time to time,” Basic Choices has put together the handy dandy “Millennium Survival Kit,” a 110 page fully indexed, publication filled with over 350 ideas, references, quotations, names and addresses you can use in your programs, brochures, and many other places to help others and yourself relax and have fun with time.

Have Fun With Time

Step out of the maelstrom of time for a moment and ask, What <i>is</i> it all about? Why all this hysteria about time? First, ask yourself, “What is time?” A flip answer is: Time is just nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once. But as far as actually understanding time, St. Augustine wrote, “I know what time is, but ifI try to explain it, I no longer know.” So if you’re confused, you’re in good company. The Kit will help.

There are many ways to get beyond that confusion and the horrible. <i>The Kit</i> presents you with many classic and popular examples from fiction, drama, movies, painting, poetry and other forms of imaginative expression. It shows you where to find more and how to create them.

The Current Obsession With Time

The current obsession with time helps to explain why a book called “A Brief History of Time” hovered around the number one position on the best-seller list for over 80 weeks. Also why well over 5,000 articles and more than 600 books have appeared with prophecies and predictions about the 21st century.

Just think of all that dynamic energy aimed at the one moment when the clock ticks past 11:59 p.m., December the 31st, 1999. It provides an opportunity for us to band together in a common positive movement. We can work cooperatively to counteract some of the wild frenzy that will accompany the advent of the 21st century. So besides having fun with time, if you “give time to time” you can help improve your community, the nation, and the world.


Copyright 1990 by John Ohliger (johliger@facstaff.wisc.edu). Adapted from two articles appearing in the “Adult & Continuing Education Today.”

Obtain The Millennium Survival Kit, study the many ideas presented there, and work out your own ways to cooperate with others in your own community or interest group. To order send fifteen dollars in U.S. Funds payable through a U.S. bank or institution to Basic Choices, P.O. Box 9598, Madison, WI 53715, (608) 833-4269.

This article is posted with permission to the Talk 2000.

Share Button