What we truly have in common
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
Jehane Noujaim's passion glows in her voice and gestures. She's the force behind Pangea Day, an effort to unite peace lovers worldwide in a simultaneous filmcast.
On Saturday, May 10, 24 winners of a short-film competition will air around the globe in seven languages via the Internet, TV, and mobile phones. "See the world through someone else's eyes," the tag line of this initiative, summarizes the day's focus – to herald what people all over have in common. Bridging divides as diverse as geography, culture, race, religion, and history fires many praiseworthy programs. But can one endeavor make a difference?
Perhaps the answer springs from our view of the world. Of course we share hopes – especially a basic desire for community. But sometimes war and violence seem just as universal as attempts to get along. It takes a spiritual perspective to find the commonality that actually heals indifference, conflict, and hatred. Words from the Bible frame this viewpoint: "Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us?" (Mal. 2:10). Writing from her strong heart for humanity, spiritual pioneer Mary Baker Eddy clarified this in her textbook "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science" (p. 469).
"Divine Science" is the term for the universal facts of God's supreme presence, power, and knowledge of His all-encompassing goodness. This Truth operates as law throughout creation, and defines man (including everyone) as like Him (see Gen. 1:26, 27). Our common heritage is the goodness that constitutes our Creator.
Searching for evidence of our shared good nature reassures us of how unified our "family of man" actually is. But a commitment to good means more than simply searching for evidence of it, as helpful as that may feel. We're also called on to defend this evidence in prayer – prayer so effective that it becomes the exact agent for change we're looking for. When we admit that goodness operates as divine law in everyone's life, we're able to deny place and power to any force that seems to oppose it, including troubling news events and mind-numbing fears. This is not a stubborn refusal to accept "reality." It's the acceptance of true reality – the resolve to see only as God does, to exclude from consciousness anything unlike Him.
Such a prayer-based stand yields healing. In the past 18 months alone, the Christian Science Sentinel has described peace-generating results in Zambia, Burma (Mayanmar), Kenya, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Germany.
Healings like these aren't aberrations. The Bible describes similar transformations: reconciliation (Jacob and Esau, Gen. 33), forgiveness (Joseph and his brothers, Gen. 45), cross-cultural acceptance (Ruth), kindness toward an enemy (Elisha and the Syrian army, II Kings 6), mutual understanding (the day of Pentecost, Acts 2), and a reversal of persecution (Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9).
As Pangea Day hopes to show, qualities such as affection, innocence, patience, compassion, and humor are common to all humanity. Yet to a prayer-focused consciousness, they are more than kindred human attributes – they're genuine evidence of our Godlikeness. So our brother- and sisterhood are constants, not subject to circumstance or personal will.
If you're participating in the viewing on May 10, you can watch from a spiritual outlook that is convinced of the power of God to uplift and unite hearts everywhere. You can expect to see not only "through someone else's eyes" but through the lens of goodness – the spiritual substance and law pervading the globe.