Monthly Archives: August 2013

Let’s Get Seriously Informed about Syria

There was a very insightful opinion article in The Wall Street Journal this morning, August 31, 2013, by Elizabeth O’Bagy, a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.
    The most interesting observation she makes after several trips to Syria is that moderate opposition groups are carrying on a good bit of the fighting against Assad forces.
    I will not try to retell her quite analytical and knowledgeable account, but it’s obvious that the radical Mustlims don’t dominate the civil war against Assad.  They do have a presence in some areas–particularly in Northern Syria.
    I believe now is not the time for swift military action by the United States, but rather a propitious time to evaluate the use of violence and nonviolence.  Remember what Gandhi said, “Violence begets violence.”  I say, “Kindness begets kindness.”  We are all world citizens who must look at horror at the totally selfish and ruthless dictator Assad.  But sinking to his level may not be the wisest choice, and once a strike has been made from the air, what do we do next?
    It’s time for all of our world citizens to think and pray about genocide and the use of violence against nonviolent citizens in Syria and elsewhere.

Kindness Toward Everyone

Probably all people have some degree of racism.  But the important thing is not to say or do anything that is precipitated by that primitive state.

As humans we often react to those we face.  If they are angry, it may make us angry or upset.  If they show racism it might bring out our own primitive emotion.

But the goal should always be kindness with ourselves and others.  Another important aim is to be honest with ourselves and others.

I’m thinking of Egypt.  Non-violence is important.  So is law and order.  The rule of law rather than either riots or authoritative governments is so necessary to a democracy and a nation’s fulfillment of its people’s aspirations.

One by one, each of us must try to love and help create a Heaven on Earth.  Muslims may want to call it something else, but the nomenclature is not of consequence; only the concept.

Egypt needs the prayers of people around the globe – Egyptians and everyone else.

From Wisdom to Heaven on Earth

Wisdom is a vital key on our journey toward a Heaven on Earth.  The good news is that it can be taught.  It’s not the sole purvey of rare individuals.

I invite you to read the late Copthorne Macdonald’s brilliant essay, “The Centrality of Wisdom” in by book, How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth.   In the essay he states no one is completely wise or unwise.  He also states, and I heartedly agree from my own personal experiences, that adverse life experiences can bring about increased wisdom if a person doesn’t surrender to bitterness and victimhood.

Wisdom, truth, kindness and all the wisdom-associated values that Copthorne enumerates are so important to our trek to heaven on earth.  According to Copthorne they include empathy, truth, honesty, justice, cooperation, peace, compassion, universal well-being, creativity and comprehensive knowledge.  When we act according to these values, we will in turn reject some of the negative values such as selfishness, hate, greed, envy and revenge.

Just try to comprehend a whole world full of us abiding by the wisdom-associated values and rejecting the negative ones.  We can do this—with God’s enduring, steadfast love; and I sincerely believe that, someday, somehow, we will.

So, one by one, million by million, billion by billion, our journey beckons.

Love instead of hate

We—all of humanity—must raise our imaginations in a positive, loving sort of way.  And we can.  Love comes much more naturally than hate.  Hate is the result of a lot of deep-seated anger.

Love is more the result of kindness to oneself and others as they return that ultimate positive value and emotion.

We must reach out to others in a kind way, ignoring negative values of others unless we have a chance to turn those bad values around.  Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of changing hate with love, that darkness could only be eliminated with light.  He was so, so right.

We should ignite our imagination toward a Heaven on Earth.  Who knows what we can do if we try, try, try and try again?

Faith is critical to this march toward a Heaven on Earth.  My faith is in God.  But some such as Buddhists may come to their loving values in a different manner.

I believe God is concerned with what we say and do; not creeds or beliefs although some do anchor their faith in those traditions.

But we are in The Innovation Age and religion is in the mix as far as innovation so that we can march toward that ultimate destiny—Heaven on Earth.

UPCOMING APPEARANCE

Hello Friends and Followers,

 

I am going to give a presentation and sign copies of “How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth” at the Katrina Artistically Revisited event this Wednesday evening, August 28th at Canal Place in New Orleans. The event is free and open to the public and includes various speakers, movie shorts, artwork and other artistic presentations commemorating the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  This evening should prove to be moving and interesting and I urge you to attend if possible.  Please be sure to introduce yourself to me.

 

Sincerely,

John E. Wade II

Optimism

At his request, I am reading the manuscript for Martin Rutte’s new book, Project Heaven on Earth.  Martin writes that one of the roadblocks in so many people’s minds is that such a goal is “too idealistic,” but he counters with examples of such individuals as Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Lech Walesa.  I would add Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and in fact the list could go on and on—human beings with vision, purpose and meaning, along with great dedication and hard work.

For some reason cynical people amuse me.  But to reach for a heaven on earth, one needs optimism, idealism and vision.  Of course, small steps in the right direction can be taken without fully comprehending the overall vision.

Thoughts on Egypt

The violence in one of the world’s oldest civilizations saddens me.  I agree completely with Gandhi when he said:  “Violence begets violence.”  But I believe the opposite is true also, kindness begets kindness.
    I have the following “bulletin board” material by my desk;
    Three things in human life are important:
    the first one is to be kind; the second is to
    be kind; and the third is to be kind.
                      -Henry James, American Author (1843-1916)
The way out in Egypt is through the kindness of its people–all its people.

Seek Faith!

Faith is not a given.  We have to strive for it, seeking truth and values over the course of our entire lives.  I believe deeply in God Almighty and the little piece of God within each of us and all of us since the dawn of humankind.  But it wasn’t always that way.

This is the Innovation Age.  We must innovate in our faiths.  I don’t believe we should have one world religion, but we should all have faith in God.

Seek Faith!

Faith is not a given.  We have to strive for it, seeking truth and values over the course of our entire lives.  I believe deeply in God Almighty and the little piece of God within each of us and all of us since the dawn of humankind.  But it wasn’t always that way.

This is the Innovation Age.  We must innovate in our faiths.  I don’t believe we should have one world religion, but we should all have faith in God.

Using Knowledge in the Innovation Age

Albert Einstein made a very piercingly important statement, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  But formal education is critical to build a high platform for one’s imagination.  We are living in the Innovation Age and a high platform helps.  And don’t forget, the Internet and other sources allow us to tap so much of humankind’s knowledge – on which to build.  We need wise scientists, engineers and so many other knowledge professions so that our advancements are truly improvements, rather than just new.  To paraphrase President Reagan, it won’t be easy, but it should be simple.