Co-Creating Our New Human Story

by Martin Rutte

Note to readers:  This is a unique but powerful vision from Martin, an early #forkintheroadproject signatory

Enough already!

The significant problems we’re facing aren’t being solved:  Pandemics attack us, ice caps melt, terrorism continues, millions suffer drought and famine, and the threat of nuclear weapons hangs over our heads.

Have you ever had the thought that we as individuals can’t make any impactful difference, not just in making these situations better, but in ending them.  One person can’t really make a difference.  One person can’t take on a suffering—war, hunger, disease—and end it.  One person can’t take on an institution — government, the financial industry, health care — and make a positive difference.  And when you try getting all of us together to solve a problem…forget it.  The world’s problems are too overwhelming.  We’re stopped by hopelessness, powerlessness, and resignation.   

Humanity’s current story is not a powerful narrative for having the world work.  It doesn’t empower us with optimism; it doesn’t cause us to engage the major sufferings and solve them; it doesn’t give us a sense that we’re moving in the right direction with a growing momentum.  The current story has run its course.  It’s ineffective, it’s tired.  It needs to change.

What if we choose to create a new story of what it means to be a human and what it means to be the human family, of what it means to be ‘I’ and what it means to be ‘We?’  A new narrative that touches our souls and engages us in creating the kind of world we long for.  A new vision that unleashes what we already know deep in our souls about the kind of world we want, a vision that opens the flood gates of optimism, energy, and creativity, and supports us in taking the steps to make our vision for our world real. 

We already know how to create hells on earth.  Why not create its opposite?  Here’s a bold proposal.  Why not have ‘We’re co-creating Heaven on Earth,’ be our new story?  Why not have our soul’s desire for the kind of world we truly long for be the guiding principle of a new era in humanity’s evolution?

To the skeptics who ask, “What about those for whom Heaven on Earth would be eliminating a particular race or religion, or continuing to pollute the environment?”  Those people are the minority, the very tiny minority.  Unfortunately, they’re often the people who have an oversized impact on the world’s agenda.  No more.  It’s 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 human story.

And, there’s no need to wait.  We can start right now.  Here’s an easy way to begin.  Answer ‘The Three Heaven on Earth Questions’:

1.   Recall a time when you experienced Heaven on Earth.  What was happening?

2.   Imagine you have a magic wand and with it you can create Heaven on Earth.  What is Heaven on Earth for you?

3.   What simple, easy, concrete step will you take in the next 24 hours to make Heaven on Earth real?  

I’ve asked thousands of people these three questions and I’ve observed several very interesting patterns in the answers.  People don’t ask me to explain what I mean by Heaven on Earth.  Instead, they immediately tell me a time when they’ve experienced it. They instinctively know what Heaven on Earth is.

The ease of answering the first question tells me that there already exists within us a template, a reference point, a built-in standard by which we know what Heaven on Earth is.  We then search for the experiences in our lives that match that.  It’s the “Already Knowing” about what Heaven on Earth is that is within each of us. We know. We simply know.

When I then tell people they have a magic wand and can create Heaven on Earth, what they tell me is profound.  They talk about what their own lives would be like, their family, their work, their nation, and our world.  They talk about the end of a particular suffering: hunger, war, homelessness, pollution, etc.  They talk about living a global value:  peace, love, harmony.  People know what Heaven on Earth is.  

And how they speak when they answer is so very moving.  They are peaceful and still. You can feel truth, clarity, immediacy, and genuineness.  They’re sharing a part of their very essence.  

Answer The Three Heaven on Earth Questions for yourself. Then ask three other people (friends, family, colleagues at work) and watch what happens.  Answering the questions begins the process of creating Heaven on Earth. 

By engaging people in creating Heaven on Earth, you help open a fresh, new perspective of our world and what is possible.  That world becomes full of opportunities, brimming with possibility.  And into this new human story, Heaven on Earth, you are invited to creatively contribute the difference that only you can make.  The new story of Heaven on Earth provides the context, you create the content. 

Historically, the problem with world visions is that they seek to impose, “Follow my way and it will all work.”  Imposing a vision has never worked because it removes freedom of choice.  Heaven on Earth is different in a very significant way.  It doesn’t impose, it evokes.  It evokes the Heaven on Earth that already lives within you.  

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.  But once people are given the opportunity to discover their own truth about the kind of life and world they want and feel free to talk about it … a powerful transformation occurs.  A part of themselves they’ve always known, and haven’t met, is revealed.  When this evoked vision of Heaven on Earth is unleashed, a simple, powerful, and effective creativity emerges that begins positively impacting our world.   

You can begin having the kind of world you long for.  You can begin living the new story of what it means to be a human and what it means to be humanity.  Answer the three questions, then do one simple, easy, concrete step in the next 24 hours, and you’ve begun.

Martin Rutte

Martin Rutte was the first Canadian to address the Corporate Leadership & Ethics Forum of the Harvard Business School and returned for four years as a keynote speaker. He has worked with many of America’s leading corporations: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Southern California Edison, The World Bank, Virgin Music, and Apple Computer, assisting them to expand their outlook and positioning themselves for the future.  He is a co-author of the New York Times business best-seller, Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, with over one million copies sold.  He was the founding Chair of the Board of the Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace, Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada.  He is also the founder of Project Heaven on Earth.  His newest book is Project Heaven on Earth:  The 3 simple questions that will help you change the world … easily.

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