What happened? Wasn't the world supposed to end on December 21, 2012? It's been a year now and we're still alive - no global annihilation at all. Were the Mayans wrong when they made that claim or did the public misunderstood what the Mayans actually meant? The better question ought to be: Should people blame the Mayans for making them perceive the end was approaching? My answer is no.
Contrary to popular belief, the Mayans did not declare that the world was going to end on 12/21/12. What the Mayans said was to the effect of, "12/21/12 is the end of our old cycle and the beginning of a new one." If you notice, that phrase is open to interpretation. Some say that the "beginning" meant a new age for the Mayans not the destruction of our world. However, the widely-held belief was that 12/21/12 was the Mayans' version of our New Year's Day. In essence, out with the old year ("cycle") and usher in the New Year with new beginnings for the Mayan people.
The question beckons: If the Mayans never declared our world's destruction, who did? Mass Media. The Internet, television, and movies, especially 2009 Sci-Fi disaster film "2012" transformed the Mayan's prophecy into meaning some kind of secret government cover-up of our impending doom. Thanks to that movie, some people firmly believed the end will happen on 12/21/12 and became deeply worried. A number of those who were alarmed went as far as flying to where the modern-day Mayans lived just to get more input about 12/21/12 and our "demise", which kind of made the Mayans fed-up telling people about their 2012 prophecy.
After the "2012" movie, more 2012-themed disaster movies followed. Then, various 2012 documentaries about the Mayans and their world's-end prophecy ensued. All of this did nothing except continuously fuel some people's notion that oblivion was imminent.
Fortunately, it was just a few who believed in the Mayan's 2012 prophecy, many did not. Many dismissed the Mayan's prediction as something trivial, while others were completely unaware of it. I am sure that several people did not believe in that Mayan prophecy because it was missing something very important - actual evidence. Notice how that 2012 "doomsday" statement was rooted in philosophy, prophecy, and prediction, but no proof. So, in addition to the Mayans never really saying that our devastation was on 12/21/12, there was never any concrete substance to back it up. That is why on our "doomsday", many took it as a regular day, performed their daily routines, and carried on with their lives without worries.
What really did happen on 12/21/12, anyway? Since it was near Christmas, and a Friday, some went Christmas shopping, others went to Christmas parties, and some travelled to spend the holidays with their loved ones. If that was not the case, like me, they just worked and relaxed. No one packed up emergency supplies, bottled water, flashlights, or any other survival gear to arm themselves for the end. There were no earthquakes, no buildings crumbled, and no one agonized, "We're gonna die!" (Well, none that I know of, at least.) As mentioned, 12/21/12 was just a few days before Christmas, so many were preparing for Christmas day not doomsday.
Of course, a variety of media and entertainment outlets had to capitalize on the Mayan's prophecy. Since 12/21/12 fell on a Friday, some night clubs had "End of the World" bashes. Perhaps the feeling was that if it was going to be the end, might as well die partying. The SyFy Channel ran a 2012 disaster movie marathon where movie after movie of our earth's decimation was shown. News reporters talked about 12/21/12, but it was not their top story. Finally, certain comedians used the Mayan's prediction as the butt of their jokes making their audiences laugh at a situation no one took seriously in the first place.
Throughout human existence, there were countless foretellings of our extinction. Whether these assertions root in culture, religion, sacred texts, or hearsay, some view these claims as nonsense while others go as far as commit suicide due to how strongly they believe in these end-of-the-world visions. Talks of massive earthquakes, rising seas, and other natural disasters, to even Judgment Day, are and always will be divine words and predictions, nothing more. The Mayan's "doomsday" prophecy falls in that same category. That is why we must not hold the Mayans accountable for making people concerned about our total destruction. What we should really be concerned about is this huge asteroid that is heading towards earth. After all, that has been scientifically proven.