December 24, 2012

So We’re Still Here – The End Did Not Come Yet

Well, December 21, 2012, came and went and we’re still here. The world did not explode; the apocalypse did not happen; the end did not come. Just like with all the previous predictions, earth still exists. Yet the whole situation has me thinking: why do people fixate on the alleged end of the world?

Had my students and the news and radio and television and everywhere not focused on the supposed Mayan-Calendar-End-of-the-World affair, I probably would have completely forgotten about it. Really, if I wasn’t teaching an intersession class, I would have spent Friday, December 21, 2012, reading and writing thus I would not have been exposed to the Mayan Calendar coverage, so I would most definitely had not even considered it.

I’m sure I am not alone in that, but there were hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who spent yesterday frantic and worried. Some even went to Mayan ruins in Central and South America to await the end of the world. I just don’t get that.

I know some day the world as we know it will no longer exist. I guess it could be in my lifetime, but something tells me that the earth has plenty of life left in it. I suspect that the end of the world will not come with some internet prophecy but will be rather swift and sudden. Should this be the case, I say thank goodness for that because when this end-of-the-world event happens, I don’t think I want to know about it.

The thought of having to live with the knowledge of when the end of the world will occur seems far too weighty to me. The pressure that information would put on an individual is too much. For some, that knowledge will force them to do, do, do all the time, but for others, to know when the end of the world will take place may cause them to become recluses and never interact with others.

For me, to know when the end will happen would just be too depressing. Part of the fun and interest of life is the unknowing. When I travel, I feel that roller coaster of excitement in my belly because I just don’t know what’s to come. When I read, I feel the tension of what might happen next, which compels me turn the page because I just don’t know. I like not knowing. I like spontaneity and surprise. To be responsible for knowing when the world will end just seems so…well…anticlimactic.

Should the world end in my lifetime, I would rather it be a surprise. I would rather it just happen. This, I think, must be why I don’t understand the repeated predictions of the end of the world and how people obsess over them. I mean, the Mayan Calendar is not the first prophecy of the end of the world. In fact, in 2011, Harold Camping predicted the world would end twice—first in May and then in October. Since the beginning of time, people and groups have predicted the end of the world. Clearly, many obsess over when it will end.

Not me. I think I’ll continue on in this world—the here and now—with concern for my actions and participation here. I don’t want to know if or when the end of the world will happen. I will just continue to hopefully lead a life of goodness and kindness. That’s where I will continue to focus, not on the end of earth.

Image Credit: vesna cvorovic / Shutterstock

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Email


Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

Send Rayshell an email