This value is essential on that path toward a Heaven on Earth. It encompasses compassion directed inwardly, as well as for others. Healthy self-esteem is important; without it, it’s difficult to have healthy compassion for others. Compassion should be expressed in both our words and deeds. Doing so will bring us closer to many of the elements of Heaven on Earth, including peace, racial harmony, spiritual harmony and gender harmony. Compassion shown to animals and to the natural world in general, will benefit our goal of ecological harmony.
We need to learn how to work with other people, nations, corporations, etc. with goodwill, honesty and genuine empathy. Thus, some values such as honesty and empathy reinforce other values much like some of the elements of a Heaven on Earth support other elements. An example is spiritual harmony leading to greater peace and security.
These values are so basic. First, we must be honest and truthful about ourselves, something that is much harder than it appears on the surface.
Being honest and truthful with others is also quite important and difficult, too. Why is it hard? Too often one can say things that we know consciously or subconsciously the listener(s) wants to hear. Politicians have a particular problem with these values because they are so often very dedicated to their own election or re-election.
This is a wonderful value and I believe that it should be differentiated from sympathy. Sympathy encourages victimhood; and if it involves something that is major in our lives– such as race–it can lead to wasted lives.
Adversity of all types can be overcome and in doing so an individual very well may gain the resilience to conquer other challenges in life.
Empathy encourages one to overcome obstacles and is a very positive value for both the giver and recipient.
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.
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 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.
The world has never been in a state of debt and obligations that it’s in right now. Our nation, and perhaps the whole world, needs self-discipline. Values—such as thrift, saving, financial literacy, honesty, wisdom, resilience, character, kindness, compassion, justice, and peace—are all part of the fabric of what could help the world emerge from our gloom and doom possibilities. We can and must allow ourselves to emerge victorious from this huge mountain of debt, obligations and regulations that plague our country and so much of the rest of our world.
I urge you to read this insightful article, co-authored by my friend Martin Rutte. I believe you will be inspired to join in creating a Heaven on Earth. Please pass it on!