There should be a joyful harmony with all humanity, with all nature, with every living creature.
This is the new ideal and realization of it will reveal the new heaven and the new earth.
In this lesson we shall consider the problem of human relationship alone.
There are certain principles to be maintained in every relationship.
Supreme among these is the principle of integrity.
If there be a discordant element in the environment, let each person examine himself in some such way as this: Am I true in every detail of my relationship with this one, just as true as I should wish another to be to me? Do I think of him as I would desire him to think of me? Are my acts an evidence of integrity? Then again, let me ask myself: Am I giving this one his freedom just as I wish mine?
Loosing another, and letting him go as his guidance leads him is another essential of true relationship.
The holding of one’s opinion over another or the condemnation of the action of another, although it may be unspoken, is the reason of much unhappiness between those who should rejoice in each other. The critical attitude toward a weaker one is often a cruel bondage to him.
Do I love this one? This is the third important question to be asked.
Love, remember, is that deep inner relation of unity which is evidenced as outstreaming good will.
When I love another, I feel at one with him, and this at-one-ment shows itself as true interest in his experiences, achievement, and growth; and as forgiveness, when he offends; also as a wish to be helpful in so far as his desire, and circumstances, permit. It shows itself in prayer for him and faith in him; it is evidenced by keeping hands off when it is best that this should be.
We are not here to live for another; we are here to live our own lives to the best.
Our help to the world is through our own living.
To be joyful, loving, helpful, is our privilege, and herein lies our power. The most ineffective and undesirable person in the world is the sanctimonius egotist who goes about showing his fellow men how to be good.
There are two sides to every relationship, the outer and the inner. On the one hand, the encouraging word, the kind act; on the other--without this the outer is of but little value-- there is the inner tie, the feeling of unity. In this feeling of unity evidenced in outward cooperation, lies the power and harmony of every relationship.
Treat your every relationship by the practice of the three principles given--integrity, freedom, love--and you will prove their working power.
SOME PROBLEMS OF HOME LIFE
Many are puzzled to know how to solve the problems of daily life in the home. Various questions have been handed me concerning the conditions of poverty, overwork, and the disagreement of the family upon religious views.
Problems are settled from principle, not from experience.
There is a principle to guide the home life as there is a principle to guide our judgment in all things. When our conclusions are made from an unchanging principle, we shall see conditions and experiences conforming to that knowledge. To judge from changeable experiences is to have no certain knowledge. “Judge not by appearances,” said Jesus. Experiences have their place, and will always exist for every action must have its results. The fruit of action is experience, and to interpret correctly, one must understand Principle.
Home life is most important because from it goes forth an influence upon every phase of life: business, religious, and social. The home influence should be the impetus to all the affairs of daily living. In the home we show what we really believe; in the outer world we may assume. At home we like to relax and are likely to think it unnecessary to be courteous, or we become careless of appearance and unguarded in our speech. Do not make home merely a place for eating and sleeping, or a place to go when there is nowhere else to go. We should find in our homes the heart-love and soul-culture that stimulates us to bring forth our best.
A home that is exclusive is not ideal.
Any individual who lives for himself alone never lays hold of the fullness of life--never fully lives.
While the home is the center of living and of action for its immediate members, yet its influence must extend far beyond its doors. Home is the individualized center. I love to compare the individual to the sun, a center of life.
The life of God should radiate from each of us.
Love is to be sent forth brightening all upon whom it falls, cheering whoever comes for a moment within its touch.
All can accept the ideal; but how can it be made practical?
First: Perfect Equality. This does not mean that each one is the master of the house, nor each the handmaid, but that each in his position is of equal importance. Is the hand above the foot or the hearing more necessary than the seeing? We need every member; the foot is as essential to the body as the hand.
Acknowledge the principle of equality in the home--one Mind, as the intelligence of all.
Accept all within your gates in the Truth of their Being, whether they are manifesting it or not.
Second: Co-operation. Each giving the best he has. It is as important to receive as to give; love equally to do both. Co-operation means working together for one end.
Third: Grant Liberty. Do not insist that others shall see as you see. As we demand, we must give. There may have been a time when we would have forced; but faith in the power of God makes us non-resistant. The more faith we have, the more liberty we give.
Liberty consists not only in keeping hands off but also in keeping thoughts off.
If we really believe that the Spirit of God is in each one, we can help another most by seeing that God is working in his life, and by trusting that God-power to lead him rightly. I know a home in which four religious faiths are represented, but the members of the family agree on religious freedom and there is not the least inharmony there.
Nona L. Brooks
Short Lessons in Divine Science