ONE of the distinguishing characteristics of the present century is the importance accorded by the public consciousness to news. This mental attitude has found expression in the facilities developed by modern civilization for making news widely and quickly known. News is held to be either good or bad, according as the recorded event is beneficial or calamitous; and it is no secret that much public attention is attracted by news of the latter variety. The tendency of the human mind to exaggerate the startling and sensational, and to underestimate that which is higher and more beneficial, finds an echo in the somewhat careless old saying, "No news is good news."

A concept of news diametrically opposed to that implied by the foregoing quotation was brought to the attention of a Christian Scientist who was away from home during the serious illness of a member of her family. Daily letters were received; but in spite of mental work done by the members of the family who were Christian Scientists, the reports grew steadily so unfavorable that the one away from home found herself dreading the necessity of opening her mail. Then one night, when conditions seemed at their worst, she determined to find if there was anything in her own thinking that might be retarding the hoped-for good results. No sooner had she done so than the thought came, You have been dreading bad news.

At once the question followed, What is news? Again the answer was clear and decided: News is the report of activity. Without activity there can be no news. Instantly she realized that the usual classification of news as good or bad is false, for it implies that activity may be either good or evil. A correction of this supposition came immediately through the knowledge gained in Christian Science that activity, in its essential meaning, cannot be so divided, because real activity belongs to God alone, and God is wholly good. He does not share His activity with an opposing presence or power. That being the case, only good is active, at all times and in all places. Therefore, the only real and authentic news there is — the only report of the only activity — is always good news.

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"Hide" and "Seek"
April 9, 1932

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