If it were up to me every person would be taught that this life is a preparatory stage for our real life after death. Just as a fetus in the womb develops the physical characteristics for this physical world, in this physical world we develop the spiritual attributes necessary to function in the next, totally non-physical, or spiritual world.
Humans are spiritual beings in a temporary physical setting. Humans have been taught over and over again, to be kind and good, generous and loving, selfless and noble, etc. We have free will to choose these actions or others. Moses, Zoroaster, Christ, Buddha, Muhammad, Baha’u’llah, and others, have all taught this. That seems curious. Why would They all teach this? Maybe because it has a significance that transcends other important matters.
Has the human race listened?
That’s another matter.
Some still think we are not much different from animals, so they act like animals. But animals do not create art. Animals do not create or transmit culture. It is our ability to reason, to investigate, to organize knowledge, to prioritize, to create, and to control our emotions that make us humans separate and higher functioning than animals. We accomplish those things through use of our free will.
The Messengers have taught us that our free will is our most powerful attribute. What we do is our choice. Sometimes we have very limited choices, but we choose all the same.
They have all encouraged us to choose to help others over putting ourselves before others. That is what the Golden Rule is all about, and it is so universally important that some version of it is found in every religion. To be selfless is our goal. Only by being selfless can we grow spiritually. Our spiritual development is the purpose of our life here. That, and contributing to society. Our spiritual progress is manifest through our actions.
When we are no longer in this physical world, we will need our spiritual attributes to function in the next world. We can’t see now why loving and generosity, etc. will be necessary in the next world, no more than a fetus in the womb can figure out what legs or arms are for. It is our free will to chose to develop those spiritual abilities that is our greatest gift and responsibility. By exercising our free will to expand our spiritual attributes we are demonstrating our ability to handle responsibility. That may be needed in the next world too. And since our time in the next world will be longer than our time in this world (like, forever) it would be beneficial for us to do this.
If everyone learned this, not only would every soul be more spiritually developed, but this world would be a much different, nurturing, supportive and pleasant place to live for everyone.