As I look around me, at the intricate flowers in my garden, the vast blue skies, my children’s beautiful faces, I wonder why people need to believe there is a place beyond this world – a paradise. If we look hard enough – and sometimes we don’t have to look hard at all – we can find it here. Then I think of all the people who see only death and destruction throughout their lives, and telling them, “This is it. This is all you’ve got.” on the surface seems to be a little cruel. I can see that feeling victimized and powerless might lead me to prayer – its silent and personal. No one can take it away from me. But then I think, what if all the energy put into prayer, the world over, was put into action instead – action that moves to stop oppression, starvation, and other injustices? Where would we be? What if everyone decided that the path of their lives was in their hands and their hands only rather than in the hands of a god? Would the world be a different place? I think so. Its often when we feel most powerless that we pray the hardest. We might feel more empowered, however, if we tried something, anything to create our own destiny. Even if we fail at least we tried and we have the knowledge that we tried. And if we don’t do anything, we can only blame ourselves.