“Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.”
- Ayn Rand
I remember when I was young I read a story about a man who tried to build a staircase to heaven.
I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really been able to believe in heaven. And it has nothing to do with religion. Maybe it’s because I don’t believe in perfection. I think perfection is something we all work towards, and although it is our ultimate goal, I don’t believe anything can be purely perfect. I guess what I’m trying to say is, heaven is always pictured and portrayed as, well, perfection. And we live our lives in anticipation of heaven; we expect that when we die, we will go to a place where everything is good. But what if there isn’t a heaven?
Here’s my problem: what is so terrible about life that we need to dream of something greater?
What if this is heaven?
I don’t see why we all jump to the conclusion that there is an afterlife. In all honestly, why couldn’t this be it? Why do we take everything around us as ordinary? I truly believe everything around us is a miracle. All you need to do is look. Most people go through their lives waiting in hope for something greater. But why not appreciate all the greatness in life?
You’ve probably heard it before, but this time, really think about what Mark Twain once said: "Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."
Stop constantly searching for something more. Look around you. Appreciate what you have. Learn to recognize the miracles around you, however small they may be. Really live.
Who knows, maybe I’m wrong – maybe when our breaths run out, we will find ourselves in a heaven. But I’m not going to take that risk. I’m not going to try building a staircase to heaven. For me, heaven is right here.
“If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson