THE harmony or inharmony of our lives depends upon our view of every circumstance, condition, person, or thing which comes within the circle of our experience. We cannot control people or events; but we can so learn to know God, good, as to be undisturbed by either.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus has said, "If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs thee, but thy judgment of it." How true it is that a circumstance which appears to one to be a mountain, may be to another a very small matter. A simple illustration of this was shown in the conduct of a small group of boys when unexpectedly and apparently without reason a passing lad struck the hats from their heads, one after another in rapid succession. The first boy, possibly fearing lest a worse thing come upon him, took to flight; the second, feeling his sense of honor had been assailed, pulled off his coat and prepared to defend his sense of injured dignity; another began to cry and to feel quite sorry for himself. Only one classified the incident correctly; that is, as of small moment, worthy of little, if any, attention; for with a good-natured smile he picked up his hat and went his way whistling. In each case the incident was the same, but there was a great difference in the way it was viewed; and it bore witness to the disposition—or habits of thinking—of each boy, with its resulting harmony or inharmony. In the case of "grown-up children," we often observe situations which in a way are similar. Something may seem very distressing to one person and quite undisturbing to another, and all because of the difference in viewpoint.
If every Christian Scientist in the world resolved each morning that he would that day endeavor most earnestly to keep the First Commandment and the Golden Rule, and would live in the blessedness spoken of by Christ Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, with its Beatitudes, what wonderful works might be accomplished! In order to do this it would be necessary for each one every moment to "judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." Upon awakening, the first suggestion of mortal mind is sometimes dullness, lethargy, an irritability, or a disinclination to activity. The recognition of this as merely mortal mind's suggestion, and its vanquishment by the realization of divine Mind's perpetual activity reflected at all times by man, would correct the first erroneous viewpoint of the day. If upon awaking, thought is confused, depressed, or unhappy, it is very essential that we see through this mist instantly and dispel the illusion. We cannot afford to start our day with wrong thinking; for if we do, it is likely that many things will seem distorted and unpleasant and the day wearisome. A very little wrong thinking is more fatiguing than much physical or mental work.