The Value of Tact

The quality of tact is very valuable. Unfortunately, some people seem to think that this quality implies a certain measure of deceit of flattery; but this is not so, except as humanity has attempted to pervert many admirable qualities, and to use them for unworthy ends. The word "tact" is derived from the Latin and means touch. It is said by Webster's dictionary to be "sensitive mental perception; nice discernment of the best course of action under given conditions; esp., ability to deal with others without giving offense." No one will deny that we are called upon to deal with our fellow men continually in all sorts of ways, and that people seem to touch each other's lives at many points. How essential, then, it is to have the "ability to deal with others without giving offense;" and this certainly requires "sensitive mental perception." But perception of what?

Mrs. Eddy, on page 518 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," writes, "The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good." Christian Science teaches that the brother's need is the same as one's own, namely, to understand the truth of being, that God is, as Mrs. Eddy says (ibid., p. 465), "infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love," and that man is His image and likeness. The best way to convey this life-giving, healing idea to another, who perhaps knows little or nothing of God and man in their true aspects, is by bearing witness to this truth in all our contacts.

The Open Door
February 15, 1936

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