Honest Competition

[Written Especially for Young People]

The element of competition seems to enter a good deal into school and college life, and if, at that time, it can be seen in its right light it will present less of a problem when met with later in the business world. The thought underlying all competition, in the usual sense of the word, is one of limitation, the notion that there is not enough of good to go round, and that, therefore, we are compelled to strive against one another for what there is. In the case of a competitive examination, for instance, there is usually a larger number of entrants than prizes; and if the latter take the form of facilities for passing into a more advanced course of instruction, the suggestion may present itself that only those who attain the highest places in the examination will be able to continue their educational career.

The student of Christian Science recognizes such a thought as the product of false human reasoning, in no way expressing the operation of the divine law of abundance, under which all have equal rights and opportunities. Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 60 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" that "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind." In proportion, therefore, as each individual understands that he is in reality the expression of God, Soul, he will be able to draw on those resources which are necessary to his progress. He will resist the temptation to outline humanly or limit the direction from which he may receive good. He will be alert to take those steps, and only those, which are in accord with the leadings of divine Principle. He will know that he has the ability at all times, whether inside or outside of the examination room, to manifest the God-given qualities of intelligence and poise. And having done all, he will not feel concerned about results, but with calm and untroubled assurance he will leave them in the hands of his Father-Mother God, confident that there is blessing enough for all.

So it is also in the sphere of sport. Competition between individuals or between teams for the leading place in a contest would bring no fear, envy, jealousy, or disappointment, if those taking part were determined really to "play the game," as the saying is. Certainly they should play to win, but this should mean not merely the scoring of a victory over an opponent, but rather the winning or achievement of the qualities which sports of the right kind help to develop. To express skill, endurance, alertness, and perseverance—all right qualities forming different aspects of that perfection which is man's natural attribute—and to rejoice that our fellow men have the opportunity to do the same, that is indeed a game worth playing, in which the losers gain as much as the winners.

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The Gift of Song
July 20, 1935

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