The One Satisfying Acquaintance

No thought, perchance, saddens the after years of so many people as that of the waste of time and opportunity which their ignorance has occasioned. "Had I but known!" begins a well-nigh universal lament; and one of the many blessings which Christian Science confers is that its children are privileged to gain that right point of view which, if they are responsive, establishes their goings in the way of wisdom when they are young.

As one thinks of it, the prevailing handicap which, to human sense, ignorance has imposed upon all, is pitifully serious. When the bark of a little navigator anchors in the haven of some home, he enters a land whose scenes, objects, people, language, and customs, each and all, are absolutely new to him. Those who greet his coming so lovingly, he has never seen before; he has to become acquainted even with his own father and mother. Moreover, he has to get acquainted with himself. He knows as yet nothing whatever of his own impulses, desires, dispositions, capacities, and needs. And all this demand marks but the beginning of the requirements laid upon him, since the knowledge of things as they appear is quite secondary to the knowledge of their meanings in their many and complex relations to human life. All the objects and phenomena into the midst of which he is ushered without consultation, must be interpreted, their thought-content determined, the world within the world explored.

When one thinks of the amount these little newcomers have thus to learn, of the brevity of the time assigned them in human belief for its use, and of the fact that by no possibility can they save those who come after them from the repetition of any single increment of their experience, he is no longer surprised if they stare a bit on first arrival, and seem quite wonder-logged if not frightened, on finding themselves called upon to face such a multitude of mysteries.

How to Know
July 25, 1914

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