On the 18th of July a news flash on CNN warned that scientists had spotted a previously unseen distant object on a path that appeared to possibly intersect with our Earth.
Initially there was not a lot of alarm but people everywhere tuned themselves to this interesting and possibly very dangerous intersection.
As the days passed the news became more specific. The object was very large and moving very fast. The scientists could not agree on the margin of error of the distance it would pass by. They were clear, however, that if it did not miss it likely would be the end of everything.
Naturally people everywhere began to plan –or not plan at all—depending whether they were by nature optimists or pessimists. The optimists did not plan at all. The pessimists wanted to dig deep and survive.
Increasingly, it is fair to say chaos reigned.
The latest news forecasts were that it would pass close by but probably would not collide.
As it got closer it appeared that Christmas would be the day that would decide the fate of the human race. The day time sky contained a large approaching object which grew by the second.
Great shadows and rushing winds of hurricane force everywhere began to disturb vast swaths of population.
People and children began to run wildly and aimlessly to nowhere and everywhere.
Many people hunkered down in their beds with as many pillows as they could find. Those who could find sleeping pills took all of them hopefully to die calmly and quietly or at least sleep through the worst.
On Christmas Eve the more or less 7 billion humans on earth seemed to be ready for the worst.
Christmas morning dawned bright and early and the object in the sky appeared to be disappearing fast beyond earth into the rest of the Universe.
People everywhere were amazed to be alive and the one topic of conversation in all languages was rapidly spreading.
“Now that WE have survived annihilation, we can see more clearly than ever before that we, who inhabit the whole Earth, are simply ONE collection of people, who regardless of all our differences including languages, just might be able to make our world a better place, if we remember this brush with extinction and stop bickering about the nothings of importance compared to extinction!”
PS – The object that had just passed Earth turned to out to have been a planet. It sent a message that took a week to translate—it said “Been there. Done that. It can work!”