I was fed up with the nursery class of two- and-a-half and three-year-olds. After I had been teaching older children, the apparent selfishness and constant "I want, I want" of these little ones irritated me. I found myself becoming impatient and cross. After a particularly wearying morning. I took a good look at the situation. Something had to change.
I recalled the child psychology and child development courses I had taken at college. According to the textbooks, children of this age are expected to be egotists. This is considered part of finding and establishing their individuality and identity.
I decided to challenge this expectation. I had already found that, interesting and sincere as the findings of child psychologists might be, they tended often to have a limiting effect. The reason is that they are based on the belief that a child is a little corporeal being, a mass of irrational urges, sensations, and reflexes. On the other hand, as I had learned from my study of the Bible, along with the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m man is a radically different creature.
Man is made in God's image, says Genesis. He is not burdened with a material selfhood and the struggle to bring it out, but has dominion over all creation.
The way to find man's immortal selfhood, free from material limitation, is to turn to God and live constantly under His law. In the lives and words of the great Hebrew leaders and prophets we find evidence of the strength one can gain from total reliance on God, from the recognition of man's inseparability from Him. It was when people turned away from God and tried to build on a matter- based selfhood that they reaped disastrous results.
Chirst Jesus, above all, proved the truth in that first account of creation. His statement "I and my father are one,' n1 astonishing in its simplicity, embraces the total concept of the spiritual nature of man, inseparable from god.
* John 10:30.
This oneness of man with God as His expression includes a dependence that is wholly good. In the degree that we understand this oneness we find ourselves and others released from pressures that result from matter-based assumptions: childhood traumas, family difficulties, harmful environments, negative inherited traits. These can be eliminated as we grasp that man reflects God even in the minutest facet of his being.
There is only one all-inclusive individuality that is already whole, capable of infinite and varied expression, in perfect concord. This is the individuality, or Ego, that man, made in the image of God, expresses. It is the only selfhood we can truly have. Mary Baker Eddy, the author of Science and Health,m and the Discovered and Founder of Christian Science, states, "The divine Ego, or individuality, is reflected in all spiritual individuality from the infinitesimal to the infinite." n2
n2 Science and Health,m p. 336.
This Ego, of course, is God. As I learned more about this true Ego, I was able to free myself from the false concept of many self- centered individuals struggling and striving against themselves and each other to find identity. I found I was no longer irritated for impatient with the children. Each time the picture of selfishness presented itself I was able to detach it quickly and naturally from the child. Soon I realized the whole atmosphere in that room was happier and gentler. The children were sharing and giving to each other without so much prompting from an adult. The "I want, I want" no longer dominated.
I realized then how important it is to be alert constantly to the fact that God is man's only Ego. This fact is true of children, teenagers, adults, and ourselves. It is constant and can govern every situation and every phase of our lives. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? I John 5:5