Friday, December 15, 2017

What to Do When You Are Misunderstood

Last Sunday my Sunday topic was "Living a Life of Character." The book suggested for the month is If You Know Who You Are, You Will Know What To Do, Living With Integrity.  The chapter on "A Life of Character" is about differentiating between the integrity of being true to yourself and living a life that is moral. In the book, author Ronald Greer states that Hitler was a man who was true to his  nature, but lived a life that most of us would consider immoral. I wanted to take a path that was closer to what we teach in the Science of Mind, namely that our nature is one with God, made in His image  and likeness. For me this is about knowing our Goodness and living in our Truth openly.

I chose to open my message with a short video about the heroic life of Malala Yousafzai. This young woman is the epitome of living a Life of Character. because she was passionate about education for everyone, especially women. She courageously wrote about it, even though the Taliban had made it illegal for girls to go to school. She was sought and identified and shot three times by an armed Taliban man. She survived and was the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which she received when she was just seventeen years old.


Meanwhile, I have been watching Season 2 of "The Crown" on Netflix. I have  binged but not yet watched the whole season. One of the episodes featured the marriage difficulties between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. It showed him as quite a ladies man, committed to keeping his philandering ways private and secretive, especially from the Queen. Of course, the press found out and then the whole world knew about his behavior. Then the Queen had to repair her marriage and also to repair their reputation with her subjects. I mentioned in my message that his behavior would be the opposite to living a Life of Character. He was living fearfully and secretively whereas Malala is living her life fearlessly and openly.

Immediately after Sunday's service, one of our members confided she didn't agree with my example. She thought Prince Phillip's actions were illustrating an addiction, not a lack of character. It is quite true one could look at it that way. Then later in the week, someone simply asked for clarification. What did the story have to do with Science of Mind Principles? Both of these people helped me to realize that I had not done a great job of communicating what I intended to say. I am very grateful to both of them.  It might have been interpreted that I was saying that it was immoral to have sex with women to whom he was not married. But that was not what I was attempting to say. (That is very judgmental and does not really illuminate the Principles of the Science of Mind.)

What I was saying is that since we are One with the Source of Goodness and since a synonym for the Divine is Truth.
As Ernest Holmes defines it, " Being Infinite or All, the Truth can have nothing outside itself, other than Itself, or unlike Itself, by which to divide Itself; consequently, the Spirit is Indivisible, Changeless, and Complete within Itself. "
So we are always broadcasting our beliefs about ourselves.  When we think we need to keep our actions secret, we are saying that there is something unacceptable about us. It seems that the answer is obvious.
As Will Rogers once quipped, "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell  your pet parrot to the town gossip."