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Think of timidity. Do small animals come to mind? Perhaps very young children? Maybe even an occasional adult who is shy about meeting others or trying anything new? Timidity appears to be a guileless and sometimes rather charming trait that induces sympathy, reassurance, and abundant pats on the head.
When a friend suggested that timidity might indicate hostility, I almost dismissed the thought. After all, what could be hostile about the timid, who aren't out to hurt others but are simply afraid of being hurt themselves? One dictionary definition of "hostility" surprised me: "resistance in thought or principle." The timid certainly seem to do a lot of resisting. Resisting what? Not just a new experience, apparently, but the condescension or irritation they fear they may encounter. I had to admit that an attitude that expects negative reactions from others could surely be called hostile.
And then my branch Church of Christ, Scientist, sponsored its annual Christian Science lecture, and I was asked to introduce the speaker. Although speaking in public was not new to me, the prospect of doing so as an official representative of my church was both new and overwhelming. What if I fumbled or forgot what I had planned to say? What would others think? Would I give a bad impression of Christian Science to the newcomers we hoped would hear this public explanation of our religion? If I made a mistake, would I embarrass the lecturer and make it difficult for him to begin smoothly?
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
ELIZABETH BICE LUERSSEN
Cloning versus man's true origin
WILLIAM WELSH HOLLAND
WILLIAM HAMILTON HILL
DORINDA REED STALEY
Eradicating amoral evil
MARGUERITE E. BUTTNER
Joseph had his own angels
No friction in Mind
HELEN M. NANNEY
Planned obsolescence or eternal being?
WILLIAM E. MOODY
error and God
There are two passages in the Bible that hold...
MARGARET M. MOORE
When my retirement came, I was a little fearful of the future
HAROLD BERNARD JORDAN
I have been a student of Christian Science all my life and have...
JOSEPHINE H. BIRDSALL
At a time when I was living in California, I embarked on a flight...
FLORENCE GARNET FAUST