I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?
What are we doing?
Because I’m sure it’s not meant to be quite this. By this, I mean the sad, selfish, destructive and cruel way we treat one another and our home.
Whatever belief system you have, or don’t have, in whatever culture you were raised or weren’t, wherever in the world you call home, it really doesn’t matter that much. Because we’re all humans, none of us are perfect, and we can all do a better job than we currently are.
These last few years have been particularly horrid. Some people decided to kill others in Lebanon,Syria,Nigeria,Brahma and Israel perhaps elsewhere too. People have been screaming hatred from all corners of the earth, from this side and that, against this cause or that. People are self-righteous and believe that their views are more important than others, that they’re superior, and that they’re right. We talk about retaliation, revenge, and ruining lives. We get upset, feel hurt, and we are angry. We blame one another for actions based on religion, culture, language. We band together, but always against someone else.
How did we get to this place?
Did you know that Islam, Christianity and Judaism all share the same creation story? Adam and Eve, the first two humans on earth? Has it occurred to you that many major wars in the history of humankind have been fought over religion? Or that greed, power and superiority have led to death, slavery, and endless counts of indecent treatment of fellow humans all through history from the first battles between opposing tribes through to colonisation and the injustices of today?
What happened to sharing, giving and loving? You might be upset by what has happened this year, I am too. But do you really need to use it to fuel a fire of more hatred? I promise you, you do not.
It’s not just each other we’re breaking down.
The beautiful planet we call home is dying too, and we’re the only ones to blame. The energy we use, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the products we buy. We’ve become so used to a level of comfort and convenience, that we’re too selfish to look up. The shops are filled with cut-price clothing, the grocery store is packed with ripened produce, restaurants are serving every kind of meat you could ask for, and the ocean is still blue. It’s easy to ignore. But the world we know today won’t be the same in a generation, a few years, a few weeks, or even tomorrow. We’re flattening forests to make way for crops, destroying ecosystems, killing animals and their homes. Our pollution has put a hole in the ozone layer. Global warming is melting ice sheets, raising ocean levels and bleaching our oceans.
But when you live in a city paved with cement, sometimes you forget there’s a real, living, breathing world around us.
As a race we humans have come so far from where we began. We’ve built a world of knowledge that continues to grow, technologies that have expanded our horizons beyond belief. We’ve developed a machine to do almost anything we need, and we’ve explored far enough to realise we are mere specs in a colossal universe. But we still can’t seem to change the way we think.
Our world isn’t meant to be quite like this. One filled with fear and spite and sorrow. Our world should be one of compassion, community and new life. We have the power to change that.
We may have lost track a long time ago, lost our love along the way somewhere; but my friends, it’s time to find it again. We are intelligent, but we are naive. We are compassionate, but we are jealous. We are in our very nature capable of many things both good and bad. This isn’t someone else’s problem or responsibility, it is ours. It is our turn to look at those around us and tell them that we love them. It is our turn to admit that we are selfish, and it’s time to make a compromise for the future of our planet. It is our turn to walk away from hate. It is our turn to speak actions louder than words.
What we are doing cannot continue. If it does, you, me, our friends and family, our fellow humans all around the world, and our very planet will no longer exist. The world needs us to love, the world needs us to create peace, the world needs us to shape a future better than the one we have.
Something’s gotta give, and that something is us.