The first flight I made on a commercial aircraft gave me a different view - and viewpoint.
I was working at the time as an engineer in a factory. The flight was prompted by a problem there. The airport was close by, and as the plane rose into the air, I found myself looking down at that factory as a whole. I could pick out the various departments. Trucks were moving in and out. It was an interesting view.
The plane meanwhile was rising higher. I contemplated the widening view. I could still see the factory. But it was shrinking! It looked so much smaller. And the problem at the factory also seemed smaller to me. The thought of a big factory with a big problem, which had been dominating my outlook, took on a more manageable dimension.
By the day's end things were resolved. And as I flew home, I considered the events of the day. It seemed a different viewpoint had produced an improved situation. With a changed perspective I'd been able to resolve an industrial problem.
When I thought about the world's problems, they, too, seemed pretty big, affecting millions. Then I recalled something in a book I'd been reading: "We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities ...." This is from an article included in Mary Baker Eddy's book "Miscellaneous Writings" (Pg. 224).
The population of the world today is about six thousand million. Six thousand million people with six thousand million different personal opinions can seem a pretty big "community" problem. But not for the individual, at any given moment, if he or she seeks to cultivate patience, good temper, and an appreciation of good. This brings the spiritual perspective. It brings an awareness of God into the picture.
The state of the world stems from our viewpoint. If our view is material, that is, based on evil, it does not reflect the nature of God. As such, it is limited and destructive. On the other hand, if we comprehend the power of good - of patience, kindness, genuine appreciation - this view is constructive and has healing power, for it manifests the good power of God. It is a spiritual viewpoint.
We read in the Bible that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). This view of the world, representing Christ Jesus' view, is Christian. Jesus looked for spiritual goodness in everyone and everything. He regarded people who seemed imperfect with true love. And they were healed.
Mrs. Eddy, who discovered the Christ Science underlying Jesus' teaching and healing, emphasized in her writings that a Christian attitude is necessary for our welfare. I have found this to be true in my own life. For more than 20 years I was plagued by a speech difficulty. The problem was healed when my outlook became more loving. Over a number of months I took time each day to study the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science, written by Mrs. Eddy. I learned to pray. One day I realized I was totally free and could speak clearly. Since then I have successfully given talks on radio and taken part in many other activities that have required me to speak in public.
Growing in spiritual understanding leads us to seeing existence as God has made it. In this endeavor it is better to be patient than impatient, better to be good-tempered than ill-tempered. And it is certainly far better to discern goodness in oneself and in others than to see imperfection of any kind.
We can adopt a spiritual perspective on life. And this brings healing. Not because of wishful thinking, but because we are all, in fact, made perfect by God, as His spiritual image and likeness.