Published on: May 23, 2011by Kevin Coupe
I’m writing this, and you’re reading this, so the Rapture did not happen on Saturday, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people believed that Judgement Day was scheduled for May 21. They had been influenced in that belief by the millions of dollars spent by the Family Radio company, which has used the airwaves, billboards and a growing army of believers to spread the word that the apocalypse was at hand.
It didn’t happen.
Not surprisingly, some folks are disappointed, especially those who had quit jobs, abandoned relationships and otherwise put their lives on hold to prepare for Judgement Day.
Others are bewildered, even mystified.
There were anecdotes like this one, from the Los Angeles Times: “Keith Bauer, a 38-year-old tractor-trailer driver from Westminster, Md., took last week off from work, packed his wife, young son and a relative in their SUV and crossed the country.
“If it was his last week on Earth, he wanted to see parts of it he'd always heard about but missed, such as the Grand Canyon. With maxed-out credit cards and a growing mountain of bills, he said, the rapture would have been a relief.”
Some folks are angry. Again, from the LA Times: “Family Radio's AM station in Sacramento had been ‘severely vandalized’ ... with air conditioning units yanked out and $25,000 worth of copper stripped from the equipment.”
Harold Camping, the civil engineer and minister who was the chief prophet of doom via the Family Radio media empire, is said to be in seclusion, mystified by the turn of events. Or the lack of turn of events.
The thing is, there is a business lesson in all this. (Not to mention a life lesson.)
You have to be careful who you follow. And you have to keep your eye on the bigger picture.
In this case, it is startling to read that people who believed that Judgement Day would result in their being among the “saved” were - in some cases, not all - people who would do things like quit their jobs, pile up credit card debt, and not pay attention to the basic requirements of everyday living. People who would, apparently, act out their disappointment with acts of vandalism. People would view the Rapture as a “relief” from life.
At the end of the day, it seems to me, you have to behave - in life and in the workplace - as if how you conduct yourself matters. As if living up to responsibilities matters. At the end of the day, you have to behave as if it doesn’t matter when End of Days will come. Eyes wide open, not eyes shut and hoping for the end.
It’s like Andy Dufresne says in The Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
- KC's View: