“Can Heaven be a place on Earth?”
What began as an interesting question became a quest to: 1. learn what people of various faiths and backgrounds believe about Heaven, 2. to learn how we are connected in our needs, hopes, and values, and 3. to find a way to connect these concepts with life in the present moment, right here on Earth. What resulted was a compilation of concepts about Heaven from a variety of religious faiths and philosophies. From that list I was able to identify seven meaningful characteristics of Heaven that we could strive to accomplish living on Earth…
4. No Sickness, No Death, No Tears
While sickness and death are a part of the human experience, there are vast numbers of people experiencing unnecessary suffering every moment of every day in our world. What can we do to educate ourselves and others, to promote human rights, and to help those who are abused, neglected, and in need? How can we make our communities and governments aware of the need to act? What can we do, either on a local or global level, to alleviate or eliminate suffering?
Sometimes it can feel like the problems in our world are too overwhelming for us to solve. When we see on television or over the internet the impact of disaster, climate, violence, and disease on world populations, we can feel that our efforts will not be enough. We might say, “How can I solve the problems of so many who suffer when I am but one person?”
When we remember that we live in a community and choose to take action with other members, we strengthen our abilities many times over to make a difference in people’s lives. It can be difficult for us to fully appreciate the difference we make when we live far away or feel removed, because we are not experiencing the suffering first hand. It can be difficult to know how much we have helped because we may not be able to see the effects of our efforts immediately or personally. But we should not let that stop us from trying to care for others. Every effort, action, and prayer is valuable and needed; no attempt to alleviate suffering is wasted. One person can accomplish much and together we can do that much more to improve the quality of life throughout the world.
Next Post: Part 6: Nature and the Sky