The way to mend the bad world is to create the right world.

“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me” are the opening words to a famous song. But what do the words really mean? How can being filled with peace inside one’s self lead to peace on earth? The brilliant philosopher Teilhard de Chardin refers to the “unimpeachable wholeness of the universe.” What does this mean to us? It means that we are a part of the universe; we are a part of the wholeness of creation. We do not walk our path of life alone. The whole universe walks with us, and we, as a human race, are coming to a greater realization that we are all “one” in spirit.

Maybe each one of us is somewhat like a pixel. Just as a hologram is made up of numerous pixels—each one containing all of the information that can be found in the total image—so each person may be a tiny particle of life, containing all the data that is present in the sum total of existence.

Gautama Buddha, whose original name was Prince Siddhartha, grappled with the problems of human existence. Though his words had not been written down, his disciples memorized many of his teachings and passed them to succeeding generations by word of mouth. In the principal teachings of the Buddha called the “Four Noble Truths,” it is stated first that human life is intrinsically unhappy; second, that the cause of this unhappiness is human selfishness and desire; third, that individual selfishness and desire can be brought to an end; and fourth, that the method of escape from selfishness involves what is called the “Eightfold Path”: right views, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditation. Certainly, this awareness of “rightness” and the letting go of personal negativities can do a tremendous amount to create a loving, caring, and more beautiful world.

A good way to create a better world is for each of us to be better individuals. There are certain laws of life that, when followed, can make life sweeter, more harmonious, prosperous, healthy, and free. When we choose to abide by these laws, we reap the benefits of living in harmony with the universe. When we don’t, we risk experiencing sickness, war, economic insecurity, and unemployment. The problems that create turmoil, pain, misery, and suffering in our world can change when each person makes a conscious decision to act and think for the good of all. Personal motive is always a good guide. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing the things I do?” and allow the inherent wisdom of spirit to provide the true answer. If your motives are pure, then good should come of them. The positive ideas we believe in today can constantly expand and grow in our consciousness. This could be termed being “on beam” with life. Pilots often fly using a radio beam as a guide. As long as they remain “on beam,” they are safe. If they get off the beam, they’re in danger.

Each human person, too, has an inborn “beam”—a conscience. While we are in tune with the way things were designed to be, we are “safe.” When we are out of tune, we may show it in the form of greed, fear, sickness, addiction, and jealousy. Some people experience a lifetime of having the flu each winter, allergies in the fall, headaches, indigestion, and all the so‑called minor ailments that we accept as a part of life. Sometimes it isn’t necessary for this to be so. Each of us has the inner power to encourage health, happiness and serenity. We are capable of re‑educating our bodies and our thinking.

By thinking and acting always with good in our hearts; by becoming responsible for ourselves, and, as an old Irish saying has it, “If you see a job that needs doing, that means it’s yours to do,” we can begin to change our wrong world into a right world. It’s time to stop saying that “they” need to be changing things around here. When we start saying, “I need to be giving life a helping hand,” we then begin to benefit life. It has been said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Let each one of us take that step and make it count!