Rational Enthusiasm

To be enthusiastic is to live; to be lukewarm and lethargic is merely to exist. Everyone has his choice; and on his decision depend his usefulness, his happiness, his career, his length of days. "Do not forget," points out Mary Baker Eddy with her never-failing incisiveness, "that an honest, wise zeal, a lowly, triumphant trust, a true heart, and a helping hand constitute man, and nothing less is man or woman" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 259).

Any unabridged dictionary will convince the reader that "enthusiasm" has an impressive etymology. Seldom does Mrs. Eddy use the word. No occasion therefor. Her life is an example of rational enthusiasm. A genuine patriot rarely mentions patriotism. A kindly, sympathetic man does not roll "love" on his tongue continuously. He lives it unobtrusively. A man deceives no one by carrying a Bible under his arm.

People who accomplish anything worth while possess ardor and zeal. They are filled with aspiration, optimism, expectancy. Not only have they courage and initiative and earnestness, but color and cheerfulness and liveliness in their outlook. Enthusiasm, which embraces these and allied qualities, is a primary characteristic of the pioneer. It shows forth in outstanding achievements not merely in material production but in cultural and spiritual development. America presents a striking picture of it all. Sadly enough this wholesome type of enthusiasm has to some extent exhausted itself in the successive westward migrations across the continent, so that descendants of the early pioneers are now rivaled by subsequent emigrants. Note the virility of the latter in agricultural pursuits, in business, and in politics.

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Comprehensiveness in Treatment
August 15, 1942

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