True Sportsmanship

[Written Especially for Young People]

With the first warm breath of spring the thought of youth turns toward the open air—the athletic field—toward the sports so generally participated in by young people. Crews are organized, training gets under way, and all the world seems aglow with the excitement of competition, the joyous shouts of the victors, and—to have the complete picture before us—the disappointments and explanations of the vanquished.

Amid this lively scene the question inevitably arises before the Christian Scientist, How much lasting good, how much actual substance, comes of all this to benefit those so heartily striving for strength and skill, for prize and personal glory? Are the possible benefits of athletics confined to the habit of keeping of rules, to the discipline of mind and body—important as these may be—or to muscular development or the acquiring of medals?

While in the keeping of rules there is unquestionably a suitable reward, true sportsmanship is more than the mere obeying of rules. In the light of Christian Science, sports-manship involves more than could possibly be codified, for it embraces uprightness, courtesy, fairness, and honor toward the other contestants—all of which are the expressions of unselfed love. As a mode of behaviour, then, the spirit of sportsmanship is no more restricted to the athletic field than kindliness is limited to any single phase of human experience. Christian Scientists are well aware that the generally accepted standard of sportsmanlike behavior toward one's fellow men runs parallel with the Golden Rule. Indeed, Christian Science makes a demand on its followers in the unmistakable words of Christ Jesus, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."

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May 9, 1936

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