Agreement and disagreement in daily life

In his editorial, "Beware the adversary culture," in the June 12, 1995, issue of U.S. News & World Report, Editor-in-Chief Mortimer B. Zuckerman warns against the adversarial nature of public dialogue in the United States. He notes, "In such a vindictive culture it is virtually impossible to rally the nation or to bind its wounds." And he concludes, "In these fraught times, our rhetoric must be toned down, our words more carefully weighed, even while we expose and correct the evils of the day. We cannot allow divisiveness and anger to replace e pluribus unum as America's national theme" (p. 94). Copyright © 1995 U.S. News & World Report. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate. Reprinted with permission . E pluribus unum, the motto of the United States, means "out of many, one," and refers to one government formed by uniting many states.

While we as individuals take upon ourselves the necessary responsibility to tone down our speech and more carefully weigh our words, it can be especially helpful as well to weigh our thoughts to be sure they tend toward harmony in human relations—toward many working together as one to make life safe, enjoyable, and productive of good for all. What we agree with and disagree with mentally can make all the difference in the world when it comes to living and working together harmoniously with others—in our homes, communities, churches, and in the world at large.

My thought goes at this point to something my mother once said: "The reason I get along so well with my children and their spouses in the kitchen is that I know there is more than one right way to do things." On the other hand, if she had insisted upon one particular way as the only right way, preparing meals together with mother could have been far less enjoyable for all of us. When no room is made in thought for differences of viewpoint and operation among human beings, something as fundamental to daily life as meal preparation can become confrontational, even adversarial—one person pitted against another person, with accusations flying every which way. Such is the stuff of the "adversary culture," in which individuals, groups, and governments are found trying to manipulate other individuals, groups, and governments to conform to what they have decided is the one right way everyone should think and act.

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Testimony of Healing
Some Christian Science healings are quick and some take time
August 21, 1995

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