How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth edited by John E. Wade II

Title:  How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth
Author:  various; edited by John E. Wade II
Release date:  January 11, 2010
Publisher:  Pelican Publishing
Pages:  320
Genre:  Nonfiction, Essays
Source:  Publisher

What would we need to do to make the world we live in a happier place for everyone?  What can you do, today, to make a heaven right here on earth?  John Wade set out to find answers to these questions by collecting essays on the topic of heaven on earth from 101 great leaders, thinkers, and writers.  By reading these essays, we can all come to understand how the little things we choose to do in this world really have the potential to create a heaven on earth.

How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth is a delightful, hopeful book that was a joy to read.  I personally have a tremendous amount of faith in humanity.  I believe that we each have the power to make changes in our own lives and the lives of others, creating a snowball effect that quite literally can change the world.  I don’t believe that I personally will make huge changes by myself, but as a society if every person makes one or two small changes, great results will occur.  So I was absolutely inspired by many of the essays I read in this book.

Some of the contributors to this essay collection will be very familiar to the reader:  Barack Obama, Nicholas Kristof, Al Gore, Tony Blair, Thomas Friedman, and Ted Turner, to name a few.  Others you may not be as familiar with, such as Alice Schroeder, Mike Farrell,  Anne Teachworth, and Levi Ben-Shumel.  But known or unknown, I guarantee you that every single author featured in this book has something worthwhile to say.  I have to admit that I did not agree with every person’s perspective on what a heaven on earth would look like.  Some of their political views were contrary to my own, some religious beliefs different from mine, etc., but each essay caused me to really think about the issues presented within.  And the book helped me to formulate my own thoughts on what I can do, today, to help create a heaven in my own life.

One other thing I’ll say about this one is that it is a great book to read in snippets.  The vast majority of the essays are only two or three pages in length, so I would just read a few essays each time I sat down with the book, stretching it out over a couple of weeks of reading.  It isn’t a book I would have wanted to rush, as I enjoyed taking the time to digest every essay I read.

If you are interested in social issues, care about making the world a better place, or just enjoy reading essays, I would definitely recommend How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth.  It is a sweet book about the little ways that we can all make a difference.