The Beautiful and Real

[Written Especially for Young People]

Recently a contest was conducted by one of the oldest and best American magazines to encourage young writers. The judgment was, after more than one thousand manuscripts submitted had been examined, that the stories contained "not much sweetness and light." It would seem that the writers in their endeavor to depict realism had regarded distortion and ugliness in human experience as the reality of life and, to quote the comment of the magazine, the stories "showed that their authors had only a romantic notion of the realism they were striving for."

In marked contrast with this trend toward accepting ugliness in human experience as real and necessary, a current trade journal, The Inland Printer, relates a delightful and inspiring story about Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, who, with one comment born of a deep perception and a yearning to inspire the young in their search for beauty and its expression in life, set forth a great spiritual fact. In an article entitled "New 'Science and Health' Edition a Monumental Work," it is related that the publisher of her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," sometimes sent his young apprentice to talk with Mrs. Eddy about the book.

Knowing that the publisher was thinking of making this young man his successor because of his gifts, Mrs. Eddy drew her visitor out as to his ideals and his life purposes. She asked him why he was unwilling to remain in the business of book manufacture, and he replied, "Because I wish to devote myself to something into which beauty may be introduced." Mrs. Eddy's reply may be taken to heart by all who wish to find real satisfaction in their lifework. She said, "But if one has beauty in himself, he may put beauty into anything which he undertakes." It is interesting to note that this youth ultimately became the designer of one of the most beautiful books of our time, the subscription edition of Science and Health.

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Faith, Understanding, Achievement
April 18, 1942

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