Watch, read, listen to the news. Problems, threats, hatred, violence, fear, intolerance. What can we do? Whether you’re the richest man in the world or a starving peasant in Africa, we have in common that we’re all here and together comprise the custodians of this planet we inhabit.
So, what do we do with it now? Give up? Go into seclusion? Or, is it truly inherent in the human spirit to make things better—to improve conditions for all?
And what about these most essential ponderings man has had for all time: Why are we here? What is the goal of mankind? Why do we exist on earth with sentience and emotion? What are we meant to accomplish here? How do we live with a purpose? How do we solve the world’s challenges and improve the quality of life for all of us? Enormous questions. What could possibly resolve them?
Just imagine that we all “come back.” What kind of a world would you want to return to? What efforts would you put forth now to alleviate today’s problems in tomorrow’s world?
Well, imagine if we all came back.
I’m not asserting that Christians or Jews are wrong and Buddhists and Hindus are right. I’m only posing a solution to all those mega-problems. One doesn’t even have to believe it—just imagine it, and operate as if it were so. Just imagine that we all “come back.” What kind of a world would you want to return to? What efforts would you put forth now to alleviate today’s problems in tomorrow’s world?
Could a white-supremacist neo-Nazi believe he might come back as an African American or a Jew? If so, would he be more tolerant today? If a wealthy millionaire in this life believed he could be reborn in a hunger-ravaged region of the world, would he take action now? Would the world’s 2000+ billionaires with a combined net worth of over $7.6 trillion work more diligently to better the planet’s future?
Would leaders of warring nations that kill and displace thousands consider that they could next be born onto the front lines? Would some religious leaders that condone suppression of other faiths then stress more tolerance, understanding and appreciation for the beliefs of their fellow man?
If we, in the back of our minds, had this notion of rebirth onto the very same earth we left behind last generation, would Democrats and Republicans be more inclined to reach across the aisle and actually solve the problems of our country? Would nuclear disarmament be the critical mission of the UN? Would psychiatrists stop drugging our kids for profit?
If we imagine coming back, would we act faster and more purposefully to rid our communities and the world of hunger, poverty, drug addiction, pollution, discrimination, political corruption and disease? Would we share with our fellow man more freedom, education and understanding?
From “The Essence of Buddha”:
“A large proportion of human suffering occurs because people think they only live once. When they become fully aware that the present life is only one point in the eternal flow of time, and that they have lived in the past and will live again in the future, they will understand that their future lives will depend on their present life and also that they can choose what kind of life they will live in the future.”
Even if it’s not true—and I believe it is—wouldn’t it make a better world?
Photos by: Sergei Bachlakov / Shutterstock.com