Here we are … December 21, 2012 — the day that marks the end of the 13th cycle of the Mayan Long Count Calendar and, some say, the world.
Surpise! We’re still here. Not to say “We told you so,” but …
Of course, it’s likely no real surprise to most of you that we’re all still here. Scientists have been refuting these doomsday rumors for as long as they’ve been around, which is really only since the 1980s. Even so, an estimated 10% of the population still believed that today would be the end. For the last week or so, NASA has been fielding 200-300 calls per day from people concerned about a planetary apocalypse, more than tripling the agency’s normal call volume.
Theories on what, exactly, would do us in were as wide ranging as they were bizarre. Would the Earth’s magnetic poles switch? Would the Sun explode? Would a rogue planet enter our orbit and collide with us? While such speculations shouldn’t be taken too seriously, they can be great fodder for blockbuster films.
Unfortunately, some schools in Michigan haven’t gotten the message. They’ve cancelled school for the day in response to the doomsday predictions.
Those of us who never really believed today would mark the end of the world find all of this oh-so-funny, but perhaps the true believers among us have an advantage over the cynics. One common theme among survivors of near-death experiences is the sense that the rest of their lives is a precious gift. Of course, that’s always true for all of us, if we only have the eyes to see it.
So, in the words of America’s great ecstatic poet, Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”