Good citizenship

"Be on top of everything that's happening in the city." Interpreted literally , this notice at a street-level elevator door invites passersby to enjoy the view from the top of the more than fifty-story building -- and, indeed, the view is magnificent. But more than that, the sign serves to alert local residents to be responsible citizens -- aware of what is going on in their hometown, feeling confident of their community's soundness and safety, and contributing to its progressive health and well-being.

Obviously, the mental, moral, and physical status of a city is important to everyone who lives in it. At the same time, the mental and moral state of each citizen is vital to the city as a whole. Every resident can be said to have some responsibility for the spiritual atmosphere as well as for the government and prosperity of his hometown. Nobody can live in a community without having some effect upon it -- even if he doesn't register his vote at election times. His thoughts and acts are felt by others and influence the general tone of neighborhood thinking.

The mental climate of any community is vitally important. The town where residents are respectful of law and order, where they enjoy beauty and are "kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love," n1 as the Apostle Paul said, is sure to flourish and be a good home. It will prove the presence of goodness and love, and establish to some degree the recognition that the kingdom of heaven, or city of God, is indeed at hand, as Christ Jesus proclaimed it to be. And this demonstration of harmony in even one small township or hamlet will indicate the possibility of establishing world harmony and prosperity, the brotherhood of the entire race, and the elimination of ugliness, poverty, and conflict.

Recommended: Are you a 'Real American'? Take the alternative citizenship quiz!

n1 Romans 12:10.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, certainly benefied her hometown of Concord, the capital city of New Hampshire. When, after living there for twenty years, she left to resume residence in Boston, the city council passed a resolution of deep regret at her departure. They were fully aware of the generous interest she had expressed in local affairs, and her practical support of worthy causes.

Despite the enormous demands made upon her time and thoughts by her work as Founder and Leader of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy was always lovingly aware of her neighbors and thoughtful in helping to meet their needs. But above all it was her spiritual integrity and strength that made her such an influential citizen. It was the qualities of divine Truth and Love she expressed -- the qulities of God -- that gave her the power to leave such a record of good citizenship.

Insofar as anyone expresses the qualities of Truth and Love he will unfailingly inspire and heal others. Mrs. Eddy says in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:m "Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable." And further on she writes, "Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power." n2

n2 Science and Health,m p. 192.

We can all help our hometowns attain higher standards. A single citizen is not helpless but potentially a mighty influence for good in the community. Whatever the local need may be, we can immediately take steps to supply it through our own more active expression of God's qualities. And we can be confident that when we do, the healing influence of the deific power will be widely felt, improving conditions for everyone in the city. DAILY BIBLE VERSE And I john saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven . . . . And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Revelation 21:2, 23

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