King’s discovery of the limits of his earlier tenets caused a change in tone from hopeful patience in 1958 to frustration in 1968. In 1958, for instance, King urged his followers to love for “the need of the other person” and “expect no good in return, only hostility and persecution.” But King’s later writings became more aggravated. In 1968, in his “Showdown for Nonviolence,” King reflected on his “bitter experience” even though he had cautioned his early followers against “succumb[ing] to the temptation of becoming bitter.” In this article, King delivered a no-holds-barred account of the disappointments that marked the civil rights struggle for African Americans. He lamented the United States’ “tragic mix-up in priorities” (like spending more on the Vietnam War than on domestic programs) and its insufficient social legislation when compared to European nations. King concluded: “All of the misery that stoked the flames of rage and rebellion remains undiminished.” Statements like this reveal the extent to which he was becoming bitter at the pace of social change envisioned by his original faith in nonviolence. Despite professing in 1958 to expect little more than “hostility and persecution,” King was becoming frustrated just a decade later.
Since the turn of the new century, a theory has emerged concerning the end of the world, or at least the end of life as we know it. This new theory centers around the year 2012, a date that many claim has mysterious origins in ancient manuscripts from many different cultures. The most noted characteristic of this date is that it appears to mark the end of the Mayan calendar. But there is no evidence to suggest that the Maya saw any great relevance to this date. In fact, none of the claims surrounding a 2012 doomsday event hold up to scientific inquiry. The year 2012 will pass without a major, life-altering catastrophe .