I’m at Houston’s looking out onto St. Charles Avenue and sipping a glass of red wine. I notice a handicapped person in a motorized wheelchair. There are many, many handicapped people who are extraordinarily resilient beyond all boundaries. Sadly, many are not genuinely appreciated or can gain employment on the level that they are more than capable to accomplish.
Nelson Mandela is not handicapped, but he faced tremendous obstacles as a political prisoner for almost 29 years. But he didn’t become bitter – he achieved wisdom. That is very similar to success stories of handicapped and disease-racked people of perseverance.
Many of the handicapped, disabled and aged are real-live heroes for themselves and others, and yet so often unrecognized tenacity.
But I am not writing of the faults of our societies. My purpose is simply to point out those human beings who struggle on and on and on and don’t assume the cloak of celebrities. Rather, mostly they conduct their lives with dignity and somehow know that they really are making some kind of difference.
Of course, not all handicapped people or people generally have the resilience and fortitude to make lemonade out of lemons.
Younger people, particularly the minorities and others with tragic single parent families or other unfavorable families, must also struggle.
But, no matter what, you have to accept the hand that is dealt to you. You simply can’t and shouldn’t throw it in through the exit door of suicide. We all must live our life with as much perseverance, character, honesty, resilience and positive values that we can muster. And we all can do more than we might think we can.
Self-discipline is a key to so much in life. Through extended formal education a young lady may delay the gratification of having a child. But at the same time, she may be greatly gratified in the end with a productive family and a child or children – well planned and nurtured.
Self-discipline also means careful nutrition and exercise.
We all have our little piece of God, no matter what. But if we are mindful, wise, resilient and honest with ourselves and others, good things will happen, again and again and again.
My advice is to look on life with an attitude of gratitude, no matter what.
I wrote this essay around a year ago. I had just finished reading the manuscript of Martin Rutte’s new book. He honored me by referring to How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, the book I edited, to which he contributed an essay, and naming the ten elements. But even more gratifying, his next-to-last quote was one from me that a Heaven on Earth is “humankind’s natural destiny.”
We must reach toward that destiny with love, compassion and kindness—in all directions globally. We must not fight to slice up the pie, materially and otherwise. We must allow our little pieces of God to shine to all. Pay it forward day by day, lifetime by lifetime. There is no need or excuse for violence, except in self-defense, the eradication of genocide, and other serious atrocities.
We are all wired for kindness. Let that potent force come out and be manifest in all our actions, to ourselves and others. When we forgive others, we become better persons or nations ourselves.
We must engender wonder throughout humankind. That’s not an easy task but it is a simple goal. Perhaps many people in developed nations could put serious wonder in their lives and free themselves of greed and envy.
We must appreciate what we have and, if one’s means allow it, contribute to worthy causes, including the donation of one’s labor, mind and creations.
We have not yet reached a Heaven on Earth, but I have a firm conviction that God has that in store for us, somehow, sometime. We must open our minds, bodies and little pieces of God within us to the concept, potential and goal of a Heaven on Earth. The obstacles may be huge, but the opportunity is even greater.
I am high in the sky, sipping my Coke Zero and on my way to Orlando and a family Disney vacation. My grandchildren will experience wonder and awe and I’ll have a stupendous time observing their childish delight.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge” said Albert Einstein. The folks at Disney are masters of invoking innovative concepts from their parks to their movies, television and cruises. I’m so looking forward to this experience of joy – especially not my own but that of the grandchildren.
People are people, more alike than we are different. To seek happiness of a lasting nature, service to others and the honest realization that you deserve something good is essential.
Earned pleasure is life’s reward that is truly meaningful.
On this trip I completed reading the manuscript of my upcoming book, Glimpses of Heaven on Earth. Was that work? To be sincere, it was like play to me and it sort of made me feel like I deserved this Disney vacation that I am providing for my family and me.
That’s the kind of “work” that I envision when we arrive at a heaven on earth – meaningful, enjoyable, fruitful, inspiring, purposeful, honest “work.”
People to people, kindness to kindness. No matter what the job, treating others with useful service, these waves of goodwill can and will echo through humankind.
Why not? Let your imagination run rampant toward worthy pursuits and don’t quit that day job until you have a good chance to succeed in your dream job.
Lifelong learning, and perhaps even eternal learning, is necessary to move with the inherent progress in Heaven on Earth. But being curious in reading, financial literacy and so many other skills will be natural for all. Learning by doing will also persist continuously.
I have come to enjoy reading so much. There were times in my life that I didn’t do so much reading. But seeking wisdom, knowledge and truth in books can and does broaden our minds and can influence how we treat our body and little piece of God. Even when I’m on vacation, I am growing by reading and learning. I encourage everyone to make this part of their lifetime pursuit for wisdom and knowledge.