Apocalypse avoided… what’s your story?

I have always been a tad jealous of people who believed something deeply, no matter how silly or bizarre. In my grandparents’ place in the country, superstitions were as abundant as fresh fruits and veggies in their garden, and just as foreign to me, a kid raised in the city by two atheists. At gramps’, a black cat crossing the street was a harbinger of disaster; sitting on the corner of a dining table meant you were never going to get married; dropping various silverware meant either unexpected guests or that something bad was going to happen, depending on what, specifically, was dropped.  No matter if you believed in any of this or not, someone around you did, and so these little obscure bits of wisdom were passed on to you for safekeeping, for remembering, for retelling of histories of those who did believe.

image lic under creative commons

Watching the news these last few weeks has been interesting, to say the least.  An old loon is laughing all the way to the bank, that maniacal twinkle in his eye, because enough someones yet again believed that they are not going to be needing their earthly possessions anymore. To give credit where credit is due, my hat is off to Mr. Camping for selling what should have been an un-sellable story.   He knew his audience well enough to predict that no matter how many times he got it wrong, the ones that truly believed the end of the world thing were going to be all too happy to go on believing. The rest of it is just semantics, and as such, unimportant. Any excuse for the dates being wrong would have sufficed – the beauty of selling to someone whose mind is already made up…

So how good are your stories? And how well do you tell them?

We are a gullible people. We’ll believe almost anything once in large numbers, and if the story is compelling enough, we’ll tell everyone we know. If we could harness that uniquely American desire and ability to suspend disbelief for good, we could all change something for the better. We could make a discernible difference for someone.  And if we had the courage and a bit of talent – we could, conceivably, make something great out of our lives.  Just imagine the possibilities…  In the meantime, adopt a black kitten from your local shelter (they are indeed harder to place than a cat of any other color), be mindful of sitting dinner guests at the corners of the table, and if you feel compelled to sell off your earthly possessions, by all means, but send the cash to RedCross or Mothers Fighting for Others or American Cancer Society.  Mr. Camping won’t be needing your contributions.


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