I AM glad to say there was never a generation gap between my parents and me. We had some differences in outlook, but the lines of communication were always open. It happened that neither of my parents attended college, but they were eager for me to have that opportunity. When I went to college, and stayed on to do some graduate work, we never felt uncomfortable with one another. There was always a bridge of love and mutual appreciation. Later I went to work for a newspaper. Much of my work involved making the theories and opinions of experts understandable to the average reader. Again, bridge building. This time, bridges of understanding.
You might say that one way of looking at life is as a series of opportunities to build bridges. Differences of race, religion, gender, economic status, nationality, need not pose barriers in our relations with our fellow men and women. We can be bridge builders, and the surest foundation for these bridges is the fact that we are all the children of one universal Father, God. Speaking of God as Mind, the supreme, creative intelligence, Mary Baker Eddy writes, ``The children of God have but one Mind.''1 Mrs. Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes elsewhere, ``On this basis the brotherhood of all peoples is established; namely, one God, one Mind, and `Love thy neighbor as thyself,' the basis on which and by which the infinite God, good, the Father-Mother Love, is ours and we are His in divine Science.''2
All of us, in our true identity as God's likeness, are spiritual, perfect, complete, immortal. The real man reflects all the qualities of God and has only those thoughts that come from the divine Mind, which is all-harmonious. In our real being, we are not mortals, governed by willfulness, greed, distrust, and self-love. This understanding forms a solid basis on which to live harmoniously with everyone we may meet. It gives us a spiritual perspective from which our problems can best be solved.
A recent film, Driving Miss Daisy, shows bridge building, with the aid of some superb acting. The main characters are two apparently incompatible individuals. Daisy Werthan is an elderly Southern widow with a peppery disposition, who happens to be Jewish. Hoke Colburn, a black man, is hired by Miss Daisy's son to be her chauffeur -- against her wishes! We see bonds of respect and appreciation grow gradually until, near the end of the film, Miss Daisy says, ``Hoke...you're my best friend!'' Hoke sympathizes with Miss Daisy when the temple she attends is bombed. And Miss Daisy's sympathies reach out to Hoke when he is hassled by a pair of overzealous policemen. The film does not look at social problems in a Pollyanna way. Quite the contrary. This realism is all the more reason why the blossoming of mutual understanding is so full of meaning and promise.
St. Paul assured the Athenians, God ``hath made of one blood all nations of men.'' And later he added, ``In him we live, and move, and have our being.''3 Paul's ringing words tell about our Father-Mother God, who is not only creator and governor but also the Life of every one of His spiritual offspring. The better we understand our sonship with God, the more easily we will build bridges. We can look for opportunities in both the small and the large affairs in our lives. If we keep as our standard the command Christ Jesus urged on us, ``Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,''4 our bridge building will have enduring results.
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 470. 2The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 281. 3Acts 17:26, 28. 4Matthew 22:39.