Another year is racing away, leaving a varied history that will be variously seen and interpreted by posterity, only if we can survive the prophecy of doomsayers.
It is predicted that at 11.11 pm on December 21, 2012, the world will be hit by a catastrophe that will obliterate all forms of life on earth.
To many, every passing day to the arrival of the prophesied event, will be a day of anxiety and fretfulness, as numerous thoughts wreck our minds.
Others would remain dismissive and take shelter under many such prophecies in the past that did not eventuate.
I am one of them.
As the new dawn ushers in on December 22, we would live to assign another frightening prophecy to the history book of unfulfilled prophecies.
But we cannot discount the casualties that it will leave in its wake.
It would account for thousands of people who have taken the prophecy seriously and planned escape routes or mitigate their suffering.
A close associate claimed that his son and daughter-in-law have postponed their desire for a child until this prophecy is eliminated. It is a sensitive issue and it was considered that parental influence was best restrained.
Reports have claimed that some of those credulous chose to increase their mortgage and have taken their dream holidays before the dreaded day.
If the prophecy eventuated, the debt will be wiped and they expect to leave their earthly abode laughing.
Mosques, Temples and Churches have recorded improved attendance. It is not known if people prayed to avert the catastrophe or to seek a smoother passage and better life beyond the earthly border. The element of fear has the power to play inconceivable tricks on the human mind.
The ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar is the source of the doomsday prophecy.
But our environment of perceived deadly threats of solar disruption, coupled with almost instant international communications that feed the movement.
Psychologists, archaeologists and scientists say that the idea of an apocalypse reflects and magnifies the turmoil and distress of our uncertain times.
Dr David Morrison, Director of Carl Sagan Centre for Study of Life in the Universe at the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) (and former Director of the Lunar Science Institute at the National Aeronautics Space Administration Agency (NASA) is an expert on the subject.
He replies to emails from people suffering anxiety over the prophecy.
These questions include, “What will happen? Will the mythical planet ‘Nibiru crash into earth? Will solar flares scorch the earth? Will the magnetic poles flip or switch?”
Worried survivalists are convinced that resulting landslides, volcanoes and tidal waves will cut off power and threaten food supply.
Dr Morrison has dismissed these theories but not everyone believes them.
Paul Elrich, a renowned ecologist had emphatically claimed in 1968 that the battle to feed all of humanity was over and that in the 1970s (later amended to include the 1980s), the world would undergo famine, hundreds of millions of people would starve to death and that nothing could prevent this catastrophe.
In 1977, then US President Jimmy Carter, said, “We could use up all of the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.”
Lorne Dawson, Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo, said, “We live in a very apocalyptic culture because (people) want the cathartic experience of watching the few heroic figures struggle to survive the circumstance.”
Historical evidence is in our favour.
The past half century has brought us warnings of population explosion, global
famines, plagues, water wars, oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, Y2K bugs, mad cow epidemics, killer bees, cell-phone-induced brain-cancer epidemics, and climate catastrophe.
The best approach
The best approach is to ignore the prophecy and prepare for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The very thought of these significant days of our lives bring joy and reason to celebrate and rejoice.
Plan bigger and even better celebrations because we would have defied the prediction and emerged victorious.
Life is a gift of God that is granted to us at His pleasure.
He has the right to terminate it and He does in accordance with His will and not in accordance with our wishes.
His mercy and grace are sufficient for us.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Rajendra Prasad is a thinker, writer, author (Tears in Paradise) and a regular contributor to Indian Newslink.