The power of a clear insight—flu healed

WHEN REPORTS OF A SWINE FLU epidemic first hit the newspapers last spring, The Oregonian printed a photograph of three large statues of pigs outside a pub in downtown Portland—each wearing a white face mask. The caption read "Local pub makes sure its swine take appropriate flu precautions." It was a comical scene. The pigs, lying or sitting in observant postures, appeared to be watching people, as if protecting themselves.

Like most people, I'd been watching the headlines about the HINI swine flu scare. But that photo struck me as very funny and readjusted my perspective of the predicted epidemic. It's hard to explain the impact of that photo or of my response to it. What had seemed like a colossal worldwide movement to be afraid of, no longer felt like a threat.

Not that as a Christian Scientist I was in any way making light of these reports. But rather, as if awakened, I thought of what Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health: "The press unwittingly sends forth many sorrows and diseases among the human family. It does this by giving names to diseases and by printing long descriptions which mirror images of disease distinctly in thought. A new name for an ailment affects people like a Parisian name for a novel garment. Every one hastens to get it" (pp. 196–197).

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Online voices spreading good
October 12, 2009

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