To Our Readers

What's an idealist? The American journalist and essayist H. L. Mencken had one definition. He characterized the idealist as someone "who believes that because a rose smells sweeter than a cabbage it will make better soup." Well, the best soup usually depends on who's in the kitchen. But once you've tasted the stewed cabbage at the soul food restaurant a couple of blocks from our editorial offices here in Boston, there's no way you could argue about what is more likely to be better in the soup pot—a head of cabbage or a dozen long-stem roses?!

There are certain ideals, however, that are absolutely essential to a happy, healthy life. They're spiritual ideals.

I suppose that if a person holds to more spiritual view of existence and reality, some might consider him or her to be just another kind of idealist. Yet this "idealist" knows that if you look at life essentially from the standpoint of what God actually creates and maintains, you see something entirely different about your fellow men and women. You see their inherent spirituality as the reality. A limited, material view no longer identifies who your neighbor actually is. The truth is that each individual is God's own image and likeness. This realization allows us to appreciate the real beauty and grace—in others and ourselves. And guess what? Such genuine ideals—which acknowledge that spirituality is substantial, while materiality is transient and insubstantial—are sweeter than any other. They not only make better soup; they make better lives and healthier bodies.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

March 16, 1998

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.