Four years ago, I wrote the following note in my Facebook notes page. It was about the prediction that Harold Camping made about the end of the world. I decided that I would repost this note just for kicks, since we've survived two more apocalyptic events since then.
As the bottom of this Facebook note will verify, this note was written on Sunday, May 22, 2011...the day after the so called rapture event which would see earthquakes, volcanoes, and tidal waves completely destroy the whole world, and everybody on it.
As you may have guessed, May 21, 2011 was just another ordinary day. No rapture. No widespread deaths. Though, there was that volcanic eruption which must have freaked the poor people of Iceland out amidst all the pandemonium of the rapture.
Prior to this, we were all lead to believe that 2012 would be the real end of days, and that the only rapture that existed was the 1981 Blondie song.
The whole rapture paranoia kicked off when Harold Camping, the leader of Family Radio Worldwide was proclaiming that at six o'clock in the evening on the twenty-first of May in 2011, the apocalypse would begin. He was dead serious about it too. Billboards were put up, he used his radio show to broadcast warnings of death and destruction, and even took out advertising spaces on public transportation to get the word out.
And, it's absolutely amazing how many people were convinced that he was right this time. It didn't really matter that he had predicted that the world was SUPPOSED to have ended back in late summer of 1994. This time, people believed it. They quit their jobs. They left school. They emptied out their bank accounts, and sold their houses. One man reportedly spent almost $150,000 of his own money to promote the May 21 rapture.
Luckily, I was one who scoffed at the idea of the rapture taking place in the first place. For one, how can anyone use mathematical formulas to calculate the exact moment the world would die? Look how well it worked for Homer Simpson when HE tried to predict the rapture (which he originally predicted to be on MY birthday, but due to a miscalculation, it was really the day after...hmmm...now that I think of it, I know exactly what they were parodying with that episode...LOL).
But, anyway...let's get back on track here. The point is that while I and many, many millions of people were secretly making fun of the idea of the rapture happening at all, many others bought into it. In some ways, the whole idea of this whole farce had me feeling all sorts of emotion. I get angry when I think about some of the kids who were freaked out about the rapture, not really maybe understanding what it was, or why they had to be a part of it. I don't believe in subjecting children to any sort of illegitimate fear, and on that note, Mr. Camping should be ashamed of himself. He should also be ashamed of himself for putting fear into so many people to the point that that they really did believe that the world was ending, and how so many people basically ended up digging themselves into an even deeper hole both financially and emotionally. All because a crackpot with a lousy track record to begin with said to them that the world was going to be no more after May 21.
But, you know...just to look at it on both sides here...did anyone REALLY believe that we'd have no more life after May 21, 2011? Of course not. You have to wonder what would possess some people to BELIEVE an almost 90 year old radio host who unsuccessfully predicted the apocalypse at least once before. But, some of them did.
And, there's a part of me that wonders why some people seem so quick to believe the worst, no matter how farfetched or irrational the worst may be.
The so-called rapture said that the world would be destroyed by a giant earthquake. What does Mr. Camping think, that we've never survived earthquakes before? We've had two massive sized earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan this past year, and while they are nowhere near being back to being rebuilt as of this writing, they haven't let that stop them from trying to rebuild their lives. That same never give up attitude was essential to the reconstruction of San Francisco after the earthquakes of 1906 and 1989. Earthquakes are terrifying things, but nothing that we can't handle. And, sure, if we did have one on May 21, I'm sure that humans are adaptable and strong enough to handle the crisis and rebuild. Because that's the way we are. We're not the weak-minded, scared little lambs that Harold Camping seems to think we are. We're a lot stronger than that, and frankly if you believed that tripe about the rapture, you really should give yourself a slap in the face and realize that we can get through anything...even the end of the world.
Well...unless we propel into the solar core or we turn into zombies...then we're really screwed.
See you December 21, 2012...when I disprove yet another apocalyptic theory.
And, wouldn't you know it? We survived that date too. Guess we're just not ready to die yet.