by Don Ingwerson
I remember a few years ago when my wife and I ended a Disneyland visit without our usual family around us, which had never happened before. Because we weren’t preoccupied with entertaining the kids, we found we had the time to observe everyone else. And even though there were crushing shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, I noticed something interesting. There was no foul language, and no real pushing or shoving. When bumping did occur, there was an immediate apology. Although there was excitement in the air, people treated each other with respect.
I have been remembering this experience a lot lately because of the conflict, hate, and violence that seem to be prevailing throughout our society. It got me thinking about attitudes and behavior. What was the difference between the Disneyland experience my wife and I had and the general mean-spirited attitude elsewhere?
What I concluded is that although Disneyland isn’t truly a religious experience, I found this park promoted a unity of spirit and a love for mankind that allowed for the natural expression of mankind’s higher, more spiritual nature.
Mary Baker Eddy, author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and profound thought-leader who discovered Christian Science and expounded on the power of unity through man’s relation to God, once wrote, “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfills the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”
Living the concept of unity as God’s man, foundational to Christian Science and based on Jesus’ teachings in the Bible, is a sure way to promote a healthy, harmonious society. With the acrimonious climate that we now live in, the relevance of this message remains undiminished. A favorite passage of mine in Luke quotes Jesus as saying, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:”
Eddy continued with another healing idea: “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.” So whether in a theme park or your own neighborhood, we each have the opportunity to express God in patience, meekness, and good deeds. And love and harmony will be the victor of the toxic attitudes of hate and violence.