Apocalypse, Armageddon, doomsday or simply the End of the World: there are innumerable ways in different languages to describe the unimaginable end, just as there are a million ways of reacting to it.
The 5000 year old, Mayan calendar comes to an end on 21st December, 2012 which triggers a series of rumours about the world's end. Quite a few believe that it will arrive in the form of a gigantic fireball as described in the Book of Revelation. Others may say that the Earth will be crossing the Galactic Equator on 21st December, 2012, resulting in severe storms, earthquakes or even a polar shift. Or even that we might ourselves destroy the Earth by polluting the atmosphere to such an extent that it would be beyond any repair. Or an epidemic in the form of an incurable virus would consume the planet. Whatever the means of attaining this global annihilation, one thing is certain that it has brought forth an unending series of debate and discussion. There seems to be no end to prophecies to the End.
What strikes me is that, do we even care? Some critics might agree that the Book of Revelation, one of the chief sources of this controversy, was written only for a specific time-period and that it wouldn't affect us. Others believe that the prophecy has already occurred. But as Mark Twain once said, 'History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme'. So, our ancestors' patterns of belief may never be duplicated but they can be reformulated in parts that approximate each other. In other words, the End may occur. It is specified not only in the Bible, but also in the books of other religions like the Bhagwad Gita and the Koran, and also in Roman and Greek myths. But again I ask how many of us are actually concerned for this day? How many of us actually stop for a moment in our day-to-day lives and even think about it? The answer would be very few.
Most of us may say that 'Jab aayega tab dekha jayega'. These replies are a slap on the face of hardcore followers, some of whom have even websites prepared with adequate counter measures. My main aim is not to become the next Socrates but yes, I do want to provide a better audience to this subject, heck it deserves a better audience. It needs ears which can understand its grave meaning. We must understand that the year 2012 may or may not be a reality. May be the day is, after all, imaginary. But everything happening now-a-days are pointing towards that sort of end. It may not occur but we may make it happen. We must understand that even if that day or time has already occurred we are repeating it just as the way Twain explained. How many predictions have we not listened to? The United States were warned that the Japanese could attack Pearl Harbour by crossing the Pacific. It fell to deaf years. Similarly, it was predicted that these winters would not be as cold as expected and that India was vulnerable by sea. These were not made by successors of Nostradamus, but by people who are experts in their respective fields.
Similar is the case of global warming. It was warned. In other words, all these catastrophes are man-made and not some divine punishment on mankind. It is possible that 2012 may just be a test for us. A test to ask ourselves whether we can survive, like we survived all those wars, epidemics and terror attacks. If we usher it successfully, it may end up as a glorious chapter in history books, and would be celebrated as a day where people all over the world unite for one cause, a cause greater than we have ever faced in our time-line. We don't know the enemy but we do know that when it will come, we have to ready for it, and even if we fail to survive, we must ensure that our coming generations live to see better days. We must learn that these terror attacks, these monstrous cyclones we suffer these days are what lie ahead, and it may reciprocate into larger ones.
If we could survive through them, then Armageddon will just be another day in our lives.