a New Story That is Out of the Box
by Martin Rutte
It’s time for us to step out of the box.
Why? The significant problems we’re facing aren’t being solved: wars drag on, millions suffer severe drought and famine, ice caps melt, global financial markets collapse, terrorism continues. People have lost faith in many of our institutions – schools that don’t teach, governments that can’t govern, marriages that don’t endure, religions that fail to use their moral authority to end the world’s sufferings.
Add to this the underlying belief that we as individuals can’t make any impactful difference, not just in making these situations better, but in ending them. The prevailing sense is that none of us can make a difference, that one individual can’t take on a problem-war, hunger, disease-and end it. We’re led to believe that one individual can’t take on an institution – government, the financial industry, the church-and make it work. There’s nothing we can do, the world’s problems are too overwhelming. We are blocked by hopelessness, powerlessness, and resignation.
The world’s current story is not helping the world work; it doesn’t empower us with optimism; it doesn’t cause us to engage the major sufferings and solve them. It gives us no sense that we’re moving in the right direction with a momentum that’s growing and expanding. It has run its course. It is tired and ineffective. It can, and it must change.
Hope lies in creating a new story of what it means to be human and what it means to be humanity. We need a new narrative that touches our souls and engages us to participate in creating the kind of world we long for. We need a new vision that unleashes what we already know deep in our souls about the kind of world we want, that helps set free our optimism and energy, and that supports us in taking the steps to make our vision for our world real.
At present, we know how to create Hell on Earth. Why not create its opposite? Why not create Heaven on Earth? And why wait? We can start right now. After all, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
It’s easy to begin. Here’s how:
- Recall a time when you experienced Heaven on Earth.
- Imagine you have a magician’s wand and can create Heaven on Earth. What is Heaven on Earth for you?
- What simple, easy, concrete action will you take in the next 24 hours to help make this real?
Each of us starts by asking and answering these questions of ourselves and perhaps two others. By engaging people in creating Heaven on Earth, we help start a new, fresh, view of the world. That world becomes full of opportunities and brimming with possibility. Into this new human story we are invited to creatively contribute how we can each make a difference. The new story of Heaven on Earth provides the context, but it is you, the individual, that creates the content. If you speak to just two people today about Heaven on Earth and each of them speaks to two the next day and so on and so on, everyone on the planet can be spoken to in only 32 days!
To the skeptics who ask, “What about those for whom Heaven on Earth would be eliminating a particular race or belief, or continuing to pollute the environment?” They are the minority, the very tiny minority. Unfortunately, they are often the people who control the world’s agenda today. No more. It’s now time for the vast majority of people in the world who want a good and decent and working world to be in charge of building our new world story.
Historically, the problem with world visions is that they seek to impose their view, “Follow my way and it will all work.” But imposing a vision never works. It can’t because it removes the freedom to choose. The vision of creating Heaven on Earth is different in a very significant way. It doesn’t impose, it evokes. It evokes the global vision that already lives within each of us.
People do know the kind of world they want, but they’re overwhelmed at the thought of making it happen, or embarrassed at what people might say if they talk about it. Once people are given the opportunity to discover their own truth about the kind of world they want and feel free to talk about it a powerful transformation occurs. A part of themselves they’ve always known, but haven’t met, is revealed. And once this evoked vision of Heaven on Earth is unleashed, a simple, powerful, and effective creativity emerges that begins positively impacting the world.
We can begin to have the kind of world we long for. We can begin living a new story of what it means to be human and what it means to be humanity. We can begin creating Heaven on Earth here and now.
Martin Rutte is a co-author of the New York Times business best-seller, ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work,’ and is Chair of the Board of the Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace, Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax. He is also the founder of Project Heaven on Earth and is a management consultant specializing in corporate social responsibility and strategic visioning. He conducts Heaven on Earth workshops globally. More at: http://www.projectheavenonearth.com and on Facebook at: Project Heaven on Earth.