The world needs dreamers, those individuals who see the world the way it is and envision a better one. What are your dreams for a better world? You might want to take a few minutes to reflect on that question before you read the rest of this post…Or you can read some of my dreams and then formulate some of your own.
Some of my dreams for a better world:
* that every baby would be welcomed and cared for.
* that every man, woman, and child would know how to read and write.
* that every marriage, friendship, or other committed relationship would be life-giving.
* that every community (whether family, parish, neighborhood, state, or nation) would help to support the weak and marginalized members in their midst.
* that all farmers would be able to make a decent living raising the food for the world.
* that all people would learn at least one language besides their own.
* that people would consistently choose to do the better thing; and if they failed, they would learn from their experience, apologize if needed, and make a better choice the next time.
* that everyone would be patient with the shortcomings of everyone else.
* that racism, sexism, and ageism would be so rare that the words would eventually be marked “obsolete” in the dictionary.
* that elderly individuals would be respected, cherished, and cared for.
* that, in addition to making a just profit, all businesses would keep in mind the promotion of the common good.
* that everyone would begin each day by asking their Deity for wisdom, strength, and compassion. If they have no Deity, then they would ask all the positive forces of the universe for these three qualities.
* that all people would forgive all the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors.
* that armies would be used solely for activities such as these: global disaster relief, the distribution of toys for the children of the world, and the picking up of the world’s litter.
* that we humans would continue to use our ingenuity to figure out ways to use the earth’s resources responsibly without doing irreparable damage to our planet.
* that people would laugh more, watch sunsets more, talk to the birds more, smell the flowers more, and get to know their neighbors better.
* that we would think in terms of “us” and “ours” instead of “me” and “mine.”
* that before every decision, the leaders of government, businesses, and churches would ask this question: how will what we do here today affect the seventh generation (taken from the Oneida Native Americans)
* that no one would die alone.
As I drew these up, I thought: they sound a lot like the dreams Jesus had for a better world, dreams encapsulated in his words such as these: love one another…forgive one another…turn the other cheek…take no extra sandals for the journey…share your treasure with the poor…fear not…Behold the birds of the air and the lilies of the field…follow me.
I also thought: I can’t just sit around and dream. I must do something to help make my dreams come true. I ask myself: What small step can I take today to make one of my dreams more of a reality? After all, a better world starts with a better me. Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author of Simple Abundance, said it well: “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”
What are some of your dreams for a better world? What steps can you take to make your dreams a reality?
PS: I will be directing a weekend retreat at Berakah Center in Pittsfield, New Hampshire July 12-14. Please say a little prayer for the retreatants–and for me. Thank you very much!