A Heaven on Earth
John E. Wade II


"I will try to love and help create a heaven on earth"--the most important sentence that I have written or may ever write.

Many people already try to live by these simple, yet powerful, words without articulating this explicit promise.  I believe that if we--one by one, million by million, billion by billion--would all accept this challenge, the world would progress immensely.  Think about the words and use them to motivate yourself to reach out to love and help others.

How did the pledge come into being?  The groundwork was laid by years of psychoanalysis and follow-up analysis, faithful attendance at Sunday school and church, much prayer and thought, as well as many varied life experiences.

The world may never really know me, or if it does I may someday be forgotten, as most of us are.  But I believe those words and the concept behind them will live on.

"I will try to love and help create a heaven on earth."  Think about it.

Such an explicit, personal goal as this can drive humankind forward on a wonderful journey.  I want my life to count.  Dr. Milburn Calhoun, the publisher of this book, told me that he wants his life to count, too.  You want your life to count, don't you?

Our very wise founding fathers made a serious pact in the form of our Declaration of Independence.  That famous document includes a reference to the pursuit of happiness.

Such a concept is an attractive and desirable one, but I believe it can be carried too far if one lives a hedonistic life.  I once did.  Instead of seeking only pleasure, we should, in many facets of our lives, delay gratification and seek to become part of a loving cause greater than ourselves.

The pledge is an invitation to join such a cause, either explicitly or implicitly, to help further this goal of guiding humankind toward a heaven on earth. . . . I deeply believe that since the dawn of humankind each of us and all of us have a little piece of God within us that goes beyond our human knowledge and imagination.  Expressed another way, there's a hero inside each of us and all of us.  We are made up of mind, body, and spirit, with spirit being another way of identifying that little piece of God.  Our knowledge, imagination, and our little piece of God combined with God's support will carry us to a heaven on earth.

I believe that God has always intended that humankind achieve a heaven on earth, with the necessary help of his enduring, steadfast love.  All the great religions of the world teach the Golden Rule, to "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us."  Let's build on that.

The ten elements that I believe are essential to our achieving a heaven on earth are:

1.  Peace
2.  Security
3.  Freedom
4.  Democracies
5.  Prosperity
6.  Spiritual Harmony
7.  Racial Harmony
8.  Ecological Harmony
9.  Health
10.  Moral Purpose and Meaning (doing the right thing with regard to word and deed). . . .

I believe the above ten elements and the individual paths to a heaven on earth apply to each one of us as well as all of humankind.  [We must give] serious thinking about how humankind can do our part to achieve a heaven on earth.  If we don't have a worthwhile and definite destination in mind, it is highly questionable that we will ever be able to reach it.

Humankind must reach out for our ultimate destiny.  Each of us and all of us must pledge, "I will try to love and help create a heaven on earth."  We must also seek to implement the ten elements for all of humankind.  A heaven on earth.  I invite you to think about it, imagine it, dream about it, pray about it, and ultimately do something to bring it about.

What would it take to make this world a paradise?  Tackling the momentous question of how individuals can envision and enact positive change, this collection of 101 essays from some of today's most notable thinkers, leaders, artists, and writers focuses on the large problems of society as well as the little challenges people face every day. Whether it is finding spiritual harmony, reducing carbon emissions, quelling hostilities among races, cutting taxes, or feeding the hungry, every single person has the capacity to change the world for the better.


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