True Environment

In the heart of a great city, on a small grass plot fenced about by a high wire fence, stands an old magnolia tree, the only tree left from a once large country estate. Each returning spring its branches burst forth in radiant white blooms, in startling contrast to its drab and dingy surroundings.

To one passer-by, a student of Christian Science, the sight of the lovely tree brought refreshment and inspiration at a time when she was burdened with a heavy sense of discordant human environment. The day had been a difficult one for her in her office, and her best efforts had been met with criticism and faultfinding. Her fellow workers had repulsed every offer of friendliness, and co-operation had been noticeably lacking. As the young worker's steps dragged wearily towards her rented city room, the suggestion presented itself, "What is the use; why try so hard?" But as she paused to admire the blossoming magnolia and drink in its beauty, fresh courage and hope lifted her thoughts. She noticed how completely the loveliness of the tree eclipsed the dismal surroundings. She thought of the people in the neighboring tenement houses, from whose windows this beautiful tree was visible.

November 29, 1941

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