Why leave mental ability latent?

The human body is capable of accomplishing so much more than its possessor may first believe possible. The despairing "I can't do it!" of the child is constantly heard yielding to the proud "Look at me!" as he eventually performs to perfection the very same exploit after patient practice.

The same is true for most successful athletes, dancers, pianists, artists, bakers, and golf enthusiasts. It has been through perseverance and patient practice that they have become proficient. At first they may have felt success was beyond them—that certain physical actions essential to their performance were totally impossible. But through constant effort and practice it has become easy and natural for them to perform these actions. Perseverance paid off. They just would not give up trying.

Surely this is encouragement to persevere in working to extend our mental capacities as well. It hardly seems reasonable to work harder on perfecting a putting shot than on one's ability to think clearly. People tend to give up too easily on intellectual development under the negative influence of self-doubt and superstitious theories of mental limitation. It just is not true that, as is all too commonly believed, some people are incapable of grasping mental concepts or of reasoning logically. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science: "A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity." Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 128;

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May 15, 1978

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