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How to Make the World a Better Place

by Shiho Tanaka

Honestly speaking, I don't know if I could write about "how to make the world a better place." In fact, the world is huge, and my perspective is way too small to think about the whole world. It may be like writing about a dream, but still, I have a picture of the world as a better place. So, I'd like to write about it.

The better world for me is the world in total peace. No wars. No miserable events such as terror or genocide. I grew up and lived in peaceful places such as Japan and America. However, I know that unfortunately there are wars being fought on this same planet, and many people are crying because of these tragedies at this moment.

What is heaven and what is hell? I remember a story I read in a book. There were two hungry people sitting at a table. In the middle of the table, there was a dish. The two were tied to their chairs (they could only move their hands), and they held long, long chopsticks. Those chopsticks were way too long to reach their own mouths, but long enough to reach the other one's mouth. In heaven, the two helped each other and fed each other. So they were happy together and enjoyed the dish. In hell, the two didn't care much about each other. Not only did each one try to feed himself, but they also competed with each other for who could get more. Of course, they couldn't put anything in their own mouth with those long, long chopsticks, and they also made a lot of mess. They hated each other!

What was different in this heaven and hell? As I understand, the only difference was whether the people cared for each other or not. In other words, in heaven, the two people thought of themselves as one and found a better solution. The two helped each other and fed each other. In hell, the two were not only thinking just of themselves, but they hated each other, and also were greedy. What this shows is that the world could change if we change our way of thinking.

In conclusion, the world is not a peaceful place today, yet I believe that if we change our way of thinking, we can make it a much better place than it is right now. The key is to care for others. We can enjoy the world in peace and enjoy the beauty of this world. We don't need a lot of money for that. We just need warm hearts and wills to find the best solution for all of us. Then, we will see that the world has become a better place for all of us.

Shiho Tanaka lives with her daughter in New York. She has always been interested in the relationship between one's inner peace and the outside world, and wrote this article while an ESL student at Queensborough Community College.