Rising Above Popular Opinion

There is in the human heart a secret desire for popular commendation which ofttimes is productive of either a fear or a defiant indifference of what others may say. How often, when about to decide upon an important step, we let ourselves speculate as to what others will think of it, and let our actions be governed by the doubt or fear which naturally follows. Even a worthy aim may be smothered with the cowardly warning, "Look out, or you will have every one talking."

The Master, Mrs. Eddy tells us, "never weakened in his own personal sense of righteousness because of another's wickedness or because of the minifying of his own goodness by another" (Miscellany, p. 227). Then why, if we too are seeking to be governed by the one Mind, should there be any fear on our part of what men may say? Popular opinion is but a will-o'-the-wisp, partial and unstable. It judges according to personal sense, and its praise or censure is generally based upon hearsay or its own misconceptions. If we feel worthy because mortals are thinking well of us, our reputation is built upon sand. Tomorrow they may think otherwise, and then we shall be left in midair with only a vain belief in self-justification to uphold us. To desire popular favor is to desire the favor of mortal mind; and since mortal mind is always wrong, we should neither fear its criticism nor desire its praise. Prestige and name have nothing to do with divine favor.

"Thou art the man"
January 27, 1917

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