"Well, you'll be very anxious because in your 40s, it will become very hard to monetize internet content."
"It'll be hard to do what with what?"
"And also you'll get very angry trying to figure out how to get this podcast onto your iPhone."
"Podcast? Is that, like, a nutrient supplement supplied by the local warlords?"
"No, it's kind of a long radio show."
"And an iPhone, is that a device that the omnipotent government uses to monitor the citizens?"
I now know that it's very easy to accidentally create a future version of yourself who's going to make life harder for everyone around you. It's only then that you'll realize that there was never anything admirable about "Who cares, we're all screwed anyway," that it never represented how much you care, but rather how little you want to care about the things you can actually change.
No, you can't singlehandedly save the globe from catastrophe. You can only take responsibility for the small patch of it that you're standing on, a task that is actually so monumentally difficult that you may not manage it even with total devotion of all of your time, attention, and energy. Either way, "We're screwed no matter what" isn't a plan, and if we are in fact doomed to a future of scarce food and fuel and constant social unrest, well, that actually requires a shitload of planning on your part. You'd better have your fucking act together. That's a world that needs goddamned heroes. Or at least self-sufficient citizens in control of their own impulses.
But one way or the other, you're going to find out that "Nothing matters anyway" was always a ridiculous lie, that if your life sucks in the future, it will largely be because the choices you make do matter, they matter a lot, and the tired, overheated brain of your past self just punted on them. You'll look around at a world full of professionals with their kids and cars and vacations and wonder by what magic they made it happen. "They probably got help from their parents!" You mean their parents made hard decisions to plan for their kids' future? And it paid off? Crazy how that works.
No matter what the headlines say, the only logical response is to plan as if the world is going to need you to be a healthy, functioning, heroic adult 50 years from now. And if in between here and there you get crushed under a meteor of death, well, you'll have died the way all people should die: interrupted on the way to doing something great. Here's that pants guy again.
You can follow Jason "David Wong" Pargin on Twitter, his Instagram, or Facebook or Goodreads.
Support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more, check out Which Apocalypse Would Be The Most Fun? - After Hours:
The first-ever Cracked Podcast LIVE TOUR is coming to a city near (some of) you this spring! Tickets on sale now for Chicago IL (April 11th) and St. Paul MN (April 12th).
Follow us on Facebook. Or don't ... it's not the end of the world.