I’m really distressed about this Mayan end-of-the-world scenario scheduled for December 21, 2012.
No, I’m not distressed in the usual way: I am not fearful that we’ll all die in exactly three years and one month.
Instead, I am distressed that so many people are so discouraged and fearful of the future that they anticipate the date with an emotion on the verge of relief.
It’s not my usual practice to write about problems for which I see no solutions, whether those solutions are personal marketing practices to build one’s business or society-wide answers. However, I’m making an exception here to test if my observations are out of step with the actual spirit of the times and if blessedly, the public dreads worldwide destruction more than continued recession.
Personally, it’s simply not my style to go looking for more opportunities to share in religious fears and guilt by expanding my religious outlook beyond the usual choices. I enjoy some poetry and prayers and cultural aspects of diverse world religions without worrying if somewhere in their holy literature I’m doomed to a miserable afterlife.
I expose myself to Eastern thought via my yoga classes, but my ego is as big and as American as ever once I roll up the mat and return the props to the closet. I’ve attended several performances of “Hair” over the years but have never danced naked in the park to welcome the Age of Aquarius. And I don’t think I’m unusual in my minimal interest in native cultures.
I’ve got to hand it to the ancient Mayans. They’ve attracted a lot of free publicity for their religion despite no door-to-door visits or direct mail campaigns.
Isn’t it interesting that Mayan beliefs are coming to our attention because we find their apocalyptic message oddly appealing, capturing our imaginations much more effectively than God’s love for us or how to find happiness or how to love others.
I sense there are plenty of discouraged people out here. Unemployed, underemployed or just plain worried in a shrinking job market. Work furloughs, pay cuts and diminishing employee benefits with few signs of an impending turn-around. Middle-aged people forced to spend down their retirement accounts without knowing how they will restore their portfolios.
I suspect that people are relieved to know they only have to eke out an existence for a few more years. Limp along financially for a little while longer and our ugly credit scores will be cosmically erased. All will soon be resolved!
It’s a sort of societal death wish reframed as a fad.
Do you agree? Disagree?