Heaven on earth?
“We all overestimate change over one year and underestimate it over five years.” Martin Gilbert, chairman Asset Co PLC
As we continue our discussion this week on the theme of unfinished business I have another exceedingly controversial question for your consideration: what if heaven need only be a state of mind?
In a religious context, “heaven” is the term used to reference the notion of achieving a higher, purer state of being in a place and time beyond the physical boundaries (and, some might say, the comprehension) of life as we understand it here on earth.
In our current age of sophisticated technology this definition makes the concept of heaven seem exceedingly remote or perhaps even difficult to believe in. So rather than debate the abstractions of the intangible, let’s limit this discussion to the physical realm that we are familiar with.
In other words, is it possible for humans as a collective to advance (or evolve) to a higher state of being while we are here on earth?
History would tell you otherwise.
The rebirth of creative thought that commenced during the Renaissance and culminated in the Age of Enlightenment in 19th-century Europe is best remembered for the plethora of ideas that emerged regarding how to improve the human experience.
And some might argue we are undergoing much the same thing in the age of Covid.
Take the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, for example. While this event might highlight just how poorly the people of Earth have failed as custodians of this planet, it also highlights the lengths that we are willing to go to improve the state of the climate and the environment for the betterment of ourselves and future generations.
Our forefathers might have been oblivious to the damage that coal-driven turbines and petrochemical products would do to the natural environment and the quality of the very air that we breathe, but nowadays we know better. And in this enlightened state we accept that we must take responsibility for not just putting an end to harmful industries but also for developing new practices and setting them in motion for the benefit of those who are yet to come.
In short, we are agreeing as a collective to evolve on a local level.
But as we have also seen – evolution takes time – the environment wasn’t put at risk in a weekend and everyone is going to have to co-operate (especially when we feel inconvenienced on a personal level) to create a world that preserves our natural resources, values everyone and works for everyone.
A world in which empathy and equality are prized above dollar bills.
A world in which polar bears and whales are viewed as essential, not superfluous. A world in which we choose to see our own homeland for the turquoise paradise that it can be instead of focusing on its shortcomings.
A world in which we support those among us with the vision and courage to embark on massive projects for the betterment of everyone and the patience and perseverance to see them through over a prolonged period of time.
We need more people like the Murphy family, who have almost single-handedly spearheaded and sustained the campaign to restore and reconnect as much of our beloved Railway Trail as possible by establishing the Friends of the Bermuda Railway Trail fund and actively overseeing the construction of a series of footbridges to reconnect some of the more inaccessible areas.
For a view of their latest and most ambitious project to date check out views of the construction of the Flatts Inlet bridge on Robin’s Paradise: youtu.be/YqXo-9RJEEc