True Sympathy

We are told that sympathy "has the literal meaning of fellow feeling: that is, a kindred or like feeling, or feeling in company with another." It then follows that this quality may be good or bad, true or false, in consonance with the nature of the thing or circumstance which calls it forth. Sympathy as a respondent feeling to that which is wrong or evil should of course never be indulged, since such indulgence would but tend to increase the error through giving it added, and at the same time mistaken or false, support. But sympathy with all that is right enhances the practicality of the right, rendering it more powerful through correct association.

It does not take very deep thought to recognize that true sympathy can exist only when it is founded on a clear understanding of that which is upright and good. It must be based on that selflessness which seeks its own in another's good and is able to lose all thought of its own interests in order that it may enter with a whole-hearted understanding into those of its neighbor. It has been well said: "Let us cherish sympathy. . . . Nothing is more odious than that insensibility which wraps one up in himself and his own concerns and prevents his being moved with either the joys or sorrows of another."

Christian Science Healing
February 5, 1927

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