Posted on 20 March 2013.
As mankind was drawing closer to the Millennium, an abundance of doom’s day prophets appeared over night. For the past 20 years or so, the popular media was practically flooded with “clear proof” that the world is heading downhill and that it will end tragically. Despite the fact that the so-called evidence didn’t make sense most of the times and the connections between those facts and Armageddon was rather weak, everyone on this planet had a feeling that something is going to happen soon. Now that the notorious 21st of December 2012 has passed, let’s go over the reasons why this event managed to cause a mass hysteria worldwide.
1. It’s the natural order of things
Perhaps the most logical explanation as to why even the silliest apocalyptic predictions draw our attention is that this is the normal life cycle. In short, everything that lives must also die, sooner or later. True enough, people do not normally make a habit out of thinking about death every day. However, in today’s context comprising of persistent topics presented in the media regarding disasters, accidents, wars, terrorist attacks, shootings, etc. we just can’t avoid hearing about death.
2. It fulfills a basic human need
While some people are perfectly content doing their daily routines, others search for that happiness by trying to find an answer to the universal questions. Even though most of them think they have the solution – and obviously they don’t – the simple fact that they are searching for an answer fulfills a basic human need in this case.
3. Perhaps it helps understand ourselves better
If you watch TV regularly, then you probably noticed that some reporters make a habit out of stating that the tragedy they just presented is a great chance for all of us to examine ourselves better. While many people are tired of hearing this cliché, in reality when being confronted with a catastrophic event people typically start reevaluating their lives and sometimes, figure out how they can improve themselves.
4. It is perceived as a breath of fresh air
Waking up at 7 am to get ready for work, taking the kids to school in a hectic traffic, arriving a few minutes late at the office, having your boss scream at you until the lunch break, dealing with difficult clients, not getting that deal you worked so hard for during the past 2 month…you got the idea. Compared to the hassle some people have to go through every day, an Apocalypse might be just the thing they need to break out of their vicious circle. Besides, without tomorrow, our actions have no real consequences today.
5. Because the [insert holy book here] says so
Truth be told, it is practically impossible to find a religious book that does not debate the end of the world topic or at least analyzes and tries to explain death in depth. Luckily for all the believers out there, these holy books also include sets of instructions on how to behave in order to survive the catastrophe and gain access to eternal life.