Over the weekend the world was supposed to end- again.
Many remember doomsday-sayer Harold Camping’s prediction that the end of the world would occur May 21 of last spring. He went so far as to put millions of naïve peoples’ money into billboards and a massive media campaign, which ultimately ended in May 22nd confession that he may have made a calculation error.
But fewer people know that Camping was at it again, this time predicting the world would end last Friday, October 21st. This time he declined media interviews, and quietly waited in his Alamedia, Calif. home for the end of days.
In a way, these days it can seem like a crazy-person’s calculator isn’t the only indication that the world is coming to the brink of time. Between the Arab Spring, Occupy protests and general disillusionment in government and the economy, it feels like life as we know it is coming to a rapid boiling point.
But this got me thinking: if the world is going to end, why wait for the apocalypse Harold Camping-style?
Why hunker down in paranoia, counting the seconds and hours, pouring over a calculator to figure out the exact moment when life will end?
Why devote life to thinking about inevitable doom, rather than enjoying the life that is still here now?
Too often it feels like we get caught up in what inevitably lies down the road: graduation, careers, families, retirement. And yes, those things will happen, but guess what else is happening? This year. This day. This moment.
What if Harold Camping was right? What if the world ended over the weekend? Would you have been happy with the way you spent the last week?
Now, this isn’t a call to drop everything and literally live like the world will end tomorrow.
But what it can make us consider is how we live the little, seemingly inconsequential days in our lives. Appreciate a great song playing on the radio, hold the elevator door for someone who is clearly running late, realizing what you are actually learning by studying for a midterm or tackling a big project at work, take a short run to just to enjoy the weather.
Nobody believed the world was going to end this weekend, despite Harold Camping’s prediction. And, to no one’s surprise, the world is still here on Monday. But perhaps we can take something away from Camping’s apocalyptic mindset. We can't live with the end of the world on our minds. But we can live with today on our minds.
What do you think about Harold Camping's predictions? What do you appreciate about your day-today life? Let us know! Comment below.
Don't forget to Like ChiU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @Chicago_U.
(Photo credit: Lord Jim/Flickr)