Friday, December 21, 2012

The Mayan 13th Baktun Ends Today

Today is a day a long time in coming. It has been talked about for decades. Cottage industries popped up around 2012 talk. Powell's City of Books even has a few shelves on one bookcase in the Spirituality / Occult section that is devoted to books on 2012. The media company I work for even released a few DVDs filled with various documentaries relating to theories about what 2012 will bring. People selling survivalist gear have been hawking this date since the Y2K bug proved squishable. A lot of New Age spiritualist folks were talking about this day like it would be the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and people would suddenly become enlightened spiritual beings.

What was this day, though? Really. Just another day. Over-hyped, perhaps, but just another day on a planet that is quite a few billions of years old. What is it about the human mind that obsesses over doomsday scenarios? I remember the hysteria surrounding Y2K (when 1999 turned into 2000, people thought that computers would have a meltdown or something because it would think it was 1900 instead of 2000). I knew at least 10 people who got married in December 1999 and I bet that many did so because they didn't want to die virgins when the world came to an end or something weird like that. I have not seen many December weddings, so it's amazing that so many occurred in that year. If I had a girlfriend at the time, I would've preferred a 2000 wedding date myself.

Anyhow, as for the Mayan calendar, I never put much stock into it. Who knows why they never had a calendar past this date. Their civilization vanished from the earth long ago. They had an interesting way of measuring time. It's complicated to understand, though. I knew that people would feel silly about 2012 when this day arrived and nothing happened. In fact, my Christmas newsletter this year used the 2012 theme. I had parchment paper and created a two column newspaper style and called it "The End Times." I featured an alien (the grays!) holding a red balloon and included a couple lines from Nena's hit song "99 Luftballons" ("If I could find a souvenir, just to prove the world was here / And here is a red balloon, I think of you and let it go...").

This is why I believed that nothing was going to happen today:

I've heard so many doomsday, end of the world dates that it seems more indicative of the people believing those things than it actually reveals about true events.

Nostradamus foresaw events well into the 4000s.

Most importantly, though, I believe that God created our world for a purpose and its purpose is no where near complete. People still have not finished evolving. I mean, we just had another mass shooting last week at an elementary school that shocked the nation. There's clearly still a lot of opportunities for us to learn and grow. We all have things that our souls want to accomplish in our current lifetimes and it would suck if God just ended it when so many people are still trying to find their way and are in the middle of important life lessons. I know that there are still many things that I want to do. I'm not done with this world or this civilization. I'm eternally an optimist at heart and I don't put a lot of stock in doomsday talk.

But, it was fun reading comments and memes people posted on Facebook. The two images on today's entry are ones that I really liked the most. In fact, the grump catmudgeon meme has become so popular this year, with many witty commentary, that I am actually starting to find this cat pretty cute. It'll be interesting how long it will be before someone else comes up with a new doomsdate. But what I wish for the most is that this non-event end of the world date will be the last of such talk. Imagine what we can accomplish if we focus not on our doom, but on what we can achieve. Here's to a bright future.

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