Finding Thomas Paine on the Isle of Saba
Off the Beaten Track Revelations
Am I the only one who thinks that we’re one species living on one planet and that manmade boundaries are the real threats?
“The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” Thomas Paine
The first time I read this quote, it resonated with me. From that point on, I started reading words written by Paine. When I was house sitting on the Isle of Saba for 90 days, I read the Age of Reason. Paine makes a case against organized religion, the Bible, arguing for a more rational explanation for the order of things.
Once again, his words filled me with hope.
I was already an agnostic who was living everywhere but nowhere after selling everything. The life of a nomad suits me. Thomas Paine’s words uplifted me. I felt validated. My lack of patriotism, love of adventure, and empathy for the suffering of all humankind was a viable alternative to the centuries of myths that promoted exclusion of a vast number of people by the few who thought they were the chosen ones.
Below is a link to Paine’s work:
This simple quotation from Founding Father Thomas Paine's The American Crisis not only describes the beginnings of the…
I was living on a tiny island in the former Dutch Antilles, in a house that was off the beaten track, on the highest point of the island.
I could watch storms forming at sea, wild goats grazing by the cliffs edge, five foot iguanas sunbathing , and enjoy the sight of indigenous orchids. I luxuriated in the solitude that this place of outstanding natural beauty provided.
As if that wasn’t enough daily inspiration, I also discovered Thomas Paine.
Beyond the tidbits that I knew about his life from history classes, I learned that Paine had a vision for societies that included abolishing slavery and starting a world peace organization. He even proposed a kind of social security program. However, The Age of Reason destroyed his good standing with the majority.
He was considered too radical by many.
Thomas Paine was way ahead of his time and consequently not very well liked by his other colleagues who were also fighting for freedom or so they claimed. In the end, there was no freedom for those who fought alongside the wealthy landowners. The freedom they referred to was a duplicate copy of the very oppression they fought against in the American Revolution.
Thomas Paine wanted to push the envelope even further and met with resistance from the other forefathers that Americans revere.
Thus, Paine died a pauper with few friends. They liked his ideas but only up to a point. To this day, Paine’s ideas are still resisted by those who enjoy power and privilege. Humans love boundaries and refuse to share. We recreate class systems and divide and conquer rather than work together to solve problems.
But times are changing.
Our planet is in trouble. We are looking down the barrel of our guns at our own future demise, even extinction. Suddenly, Paine makes more sense than ever. The world is our home. To do good is the only religion that counts. Our manmade boundaries are ridiculous. We must find a way of sharing limited resources, preserving water, living sustainably and moving toward more cooperation and less competition.
Eventually, my time in Saba came to an end.
Here's What it Actually Looks Like to Take Off and Land on the World's Shortest Commercial Runway
Get ready to ride the edge of your seat! Landing a plane is no easy feat, especially when you're landing on the…
Ninety days was the longest I could stay on the island without a visa. I packed my little travel bag and headed to the tiny island airport where my plane took off from the shortest landing strip in the world. What amazing adventures I’ve had as a world citizen.
Thank you, Thomas Paine, for writing words that captured the essence of what all humans need to aspire to if we truly want a better world for our children.
Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.