Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 20, 2012

The Mayan Apocalypse

December 21, 2012 is perhaps the most highly anticipated date on this year’s calendar — not because it is the date of the Winter Solstice, but because many believe it will be the day when the world as we know it will end. According to the Mayan long count calendar, December 21 is the end date of a 5125-year-long cycle. Some folks believe that according to Mayan eschatology, all sorts of cataclysmic things will happen that will make it difficult for most of humanity to survive. Much of the paranoia about what might happen can likely be traced to the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster “2012” — an epic adventure about surviving the global cataclysm.

2012 Weather Forecast

Doomsday preppers have been scurrying about in preparation for the end of the world. According to news reports, sales of survival shelters and supplies, weapons, and one-way tickets to regions where some believe that aliens will come to their rescue are at an all-time high. In Sichuan province in China, people are buying candles in big quantities because they believe that there will be three days of darkness when the apocalypse arrives. However, for Mexico, where the ancient Mayan civilization flourished, the prospects of the end of the world have created opportunities. The tourism industry has used the global curiosity about the Mayan Apocalypse to draw tourists to Mexico to visit Mayan ruins and to participate in Mayan-themed events. Tourism to Mexico doubled this year!

All of this talk about the end of the world on Friday is reminiscent of the Y2K scare as midnight on December 31, 1999 approached. The world braced for chaos because of the fear that computers would crash when the calendar switched to 2000. The impending disaster seemed real but never materialized. We entered the new millennium without incident. And now, we find ourselves once again on the brink of an anticipated global disaster on a scale far greater than anyone could have imagined in the Y2K days. A computer crash is much preferred to mega-meteor showers and all sorts of hard-to-escape stuff like that.

According to one poll, as many as 25 million Americans believe that the world will end tomorrow. One NASA scientist who disagrees is concerned not because of the Mayan Apocalypse, but because of the number of emails he has received from people who are frightened and feel that suicide is a better option than facing the much-hyped cataclysmic events. In Argentina, authorities will cut off access to Uritorco, the highest mountain in the country, due to an appeal on social networking sites asking people to attend a “mass spiritual suicide” there on the eve of the predicted apocalypse.

As for the Mayans, indications are that they reject the notion that the world will end on Friday. One Mayan man said, “The 21st is for giving thanks and gratitude and the 22nd welcomes the new cycle, a new dawn.” I am not Mayan but I do like this guy’s outlook. And I do not believe that the world will end on Friday. I do wish that those who go to such great lengths to prepare for the worst-case scenario would be as intentional about doing the things that can make our world a better place. In reality, every day the world ends for many people. We don’t know when we will breathe our last and the world will end for us. But we can determine to live each day with purpose. Anne Frank wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” That is what I intend to do today and on December 21, 2012.


  1. Excellent blog entry Omar! It would be tremendous if it IS your last one. Afterall, the LORD could return tomorrow. None of us know the date of His return. There are so many naysayers about tomorrow and that this world will never end that the LORD may very well come tomorrow. But…even then I believe somehow, even in Heaven, Omar will find some way to continue his excellent blogging! Just think of all the tremendous resource material you will have.

    • Thanks for your kind words and faithful readership, Jeff. I appreciate your encouragement.

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