In the last three years, I have spoken about how 2012 might well be one of the most change-filled, disruptive years in America in recent memory. It is a quadrennial election year. It is the year of the Mayan Prophecy. It figures to be a year of political conflict between those who want to hold onto the legacy structures and ways of thinking of the 20th century and those who realize that the 21st century is a time for new forms and ways of thought. I had, until recently, felt that, while disruptive, 2012 would be about transformation and new beginnings. The metaphor that comes to mind is birth: a process that is quite painful, but ultimately, produces a new, vibrant life.