Appreciating another's individuality

A friend of mine moved into a furnished rental home although she found the owner's taste abominable. She couldn't stand the draperies. She hid the pictures and the dishes.

Soon she started having sneezing spells and sinus problems. This continued for two or three months. When her own things arrived, she could hardly wait to unpack her dishes and to hang her pictures. But just as she was starting, she began sneezing so badly that she had to sit down. She declared, "This has got to stop!"

It was time she was healed. So she stopped unpacking and gathered up the Bible and the writings of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, including the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and started studying. She was led to look up the word "sneeze" in the dictionary. There is a slang expression, to "sneeze at," which means "to treat lightly: despise, condemn." In my friend's dictionary, the word "disdain" was used. She thought about that. Then its implications hit her. She saw that she had had nothing but disdain for this homeowner's expression of beauty. This attitude had developed because she was viewing things from a material instead of a spiritual basis. She understood that even if she didn't care for the owner's furnishings, she must learn to appreciate the individuality of others more.

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March 7, 1983

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