Man Cooperative, not Competitive

The generally accepted belief about man is that he is competitive. The spirit of competition is encouraged all through the school years; we find it in the home, in business, between nations, and even in the church; always, the striving to get for one's self all one can, thinking of nothing but self. Such expressions as, "competition is the life of trade" and "friendly competition," are most misleading. We may well doubt if there can be any friendly competition, since competition readily becomes rivalry, and rivalry leads so easily to the using of unfair methods which, in their turn, bring dishonesty—thus precluding any element of friendliness but, instead, opening the way to trouble and sorrow. In her Message to The Mother Church for 1902 (p. 4), Mrs. Eddy writes, "Competition in commerce, deceit in councils, dishonor in nations, dishonesty in trusts, begin with 'Who shall be greatest?' "

When we learn through the study of Christian Science to know man as created for cooperation, and not to be competitive, we see him in a very different light. We find him then, as God's idea, always working harmoniously with others with the same object in view, never thinking how much he can get out of the work for himself, but, rather, how much he can give of himself for the good of others. In other words, we find him obeying Paul's injunction, "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth."

Christian Scientists should all be working for the same end,—that of bringing the understanding of the truth to others, the understanding that has brought so many blessings to them. It should make no difference where they are called upon to carry on this work,—whether in the home, in business, or in the church,—nor whether the opportunity be great or small, for all are of importance; and it is only as each does his part willingly, and to the best of his ability, that he gains one object for which all should be working—the making of the world a better place to live in. While competition brings discord, trouble, and sorrow, cooperation always brings peace, happiness, confidence, and success. Let us always remember, therefore, that man is cooperative, not competitive.

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August 26, 1922

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