Our collective dream, if I may be so bold, is to experience the unity of the human race – a time in which all people not only accept the fact, but know deep in their soul, that essentially we are one people who share a common desire for an end of conflict and an era of peace.

It would require cooperation. Complete acceptance of each other’s spiritual beliefs, without judgment. The end of greed. The celebration of the inherent gifts within each of us. And an end of the Reign of Fear on Planet Earth. [Isn’t that what the War on Terrorism is really all about?]

Sound far-fetched? Not at all if you take into account Christianity’s anticipation of the Second Coming and the era of peace envisioned by progressive-minded followers of other world religions and spiritual movements. That this eventually will occur is accepted in the belief systems of millions of people. But how will it occur, and more importantly, will it occur in our lifetime as prophesied by biblical scholars and others who say we are in the End Times?

wed this!Will it take a worldwide oil shortage? A worldwide shortage of drinking water? Will it take the Mother of all Natural Disasters? Will it take the intervention of benevolent Space Brothers…or Divine intervention?

To realize unity among ourselves, we must begin to think in new, fresh ways about each other.

Step one is to realize that we can share with each other and still find inner happiness. The goal no longer is to make as much money as is humanly possible. We don’t have to rely upon possessions to make us happy. Many Europeans are innately more happy than Americans because at a young age they are not indoctrinated in a disposable society where the goal is to get as much as you possibly can. Correspondent Morley Safer’s piece on "60 Minutes" where he revealed that Danes are the happiest people is an eye-opening commentary on the American way of life. Search for it online if you haven’t seen it.

Step two is to realize that we all need each other, just as we are. The things we judge as bad or ugly are actually just different. That nose ring on your daughter is just her way of discovering her uniqueness, and to condemn that tattoo on your son’s neck is to remind him that he is not good enough in your eyes, that you don’t accept him, or love him, unconditionally. People who are born with disfiguring defects and those who are unable to control their weight and men who choose to become women and women who love other women are a part of who we all are. We are just in denial that we are all related.

Step three is to honor the religious and spiritual perspectives of our fellow brothers and sisters without fear. Acknowledging that religious differences contribute greatly to the landscape of conflict on our planet, it is vital that we embrace – and celebrate – the fact that there are many paths leading up to the same mountaintop, and that all of the world religions are saying the same thing, just in different ways, in different languages. We must learn more about other religions. Many of us use scripture to justify our fears. It is time to use scripture to confirm our love.

Step four is to unite to share resources to solve problems that affect all of us on this planet. We can end many diseases. We can feed all of the world’s people. We have shown great willingness to cooperate on the International Space Station; it is now time to do the same on the ground.

Let’s set aside our political and religious and racial and economic differences and devote the rest of the century to bringing us all together. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

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