Admit it – for most of us, the world we experience is less than the world we desire.

So, what kind of world do you want to live in? That question has really been on my mind over the past few weeks as I bumped into situations where I wondered to myself, “why does it have to be like that?”

Here’s a few examples –

I was watching a show on the History Channel about America’s prisons. The program described how many governments have outsourced their jails and prisons to private companies. In theory, these companies are supposed to be able to house prisoners at less cost than public prisons because, after all, they are motivated by their bottom line. In reality, these companies have encouraged increases in the prisoner population so as to make more money. The more beds they have filled, the more they make. They have no motivation to ready prisoners for their return to society. In the most egregious situations, judges were receiving kickbacks from the companies to incarcerate more people for longer periods of time. People who were wrongly imprisoned were held longer before begin released. Although private prisons are certainly only one contributing factor, the United States has more prisoners than any other country in the world. Is this really what we want?

Recent news reports indicate that more than $445 million have been spent on advertising regarding the Affordable Care Act since its passage with negative ads outpacing the positive ones at a rate of 15 to 1. In particular, certain wealthy conservative individuals have spent massive amounts of money to try and convince us that the law is bad and needs to be repealed. Reports indicate that we will see many more “attack ads” as we approach the next election cycle. Yet these negative ads offer no real alternative solutions to address the problems of the rising cost of healthcare and the millions of Americans who cannot afford health insurance. No matter what you think of “Obamacare”, do you really want to live in a world with so much negative advertising or one with so many people who don’t have access to affordable healthcare?

The past week or so we have watched as thousands of acres have burned in California. They say this will be the worst summer on record for wildfires there. Now news is coming out that the ice sheets on the continent of Antarctica are melting at an unprecedented level and that their ultimate collapse is beyond the point of no return. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently issued its latest report – again very dire in its warnings but more strongly worded in its pointing to man-made emissions as the central cause of our ever increasingly warmer planet. Of course, their warnings were only cause for more political arguing and little political action.  If humanity is causing the destruction of the planet – and the scientific evidence is overwhelming in this regards – then doesn’t it seem like our coming together to take any possible corrective action would be appropriate? Do we really want to argue about the necessity of saving our home? Is this the kind of world we want?

I don’t really want to dwell on negativity. However, I don’t know about you, but this is not my highest vision of humanity and life on earth. I know in my heart of hearts that we have the ability to create the world we really want. We can do better.

What would such a world look like?

First, it’s a world where we don’t cling to old ways and old beliefs simply because that’s how it’s always been. We let go of our labels that we used to define ourselves (conservative, liberal, Christian, Muslim, atheist, capitalist, socialist, and so on). These labels only serve to divide us and to limit us.

Second, we release the need to complain, blame and fight with others over what has gone before. Instead, we focus on a positive future and on goals and solutions that will move us in that direction.

Third, we let go of the need to see our needs fulfilled first before the needs of the collective. It’s time to let go of our selfish nature and move to the place of selfless service to the greater good.

There is a world that is possible for all of us to live in – it’s a world where people are free of want and need. It’s a world where everyone has the chance to thrive and succeed. It’s a world where we work together to solve our challenges and to create opportunities. Earth has more than enough abundance to meet our needs. Humanity has more than enough intelligence to create such a world.

That’s the world that I want. What about you?

Mark Gilbert

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!