Sympathy the Key -- note to Harmony.
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
(Copyright 1907 by American-Journal-Examiner)

   In these days of cheerful religion,
taught by metaphysical schols, it is well
to learn the happy secret of keeping a
mental balance between stoicism and
indifference and hysteria and nerves.  It
is wise to know how to carry your troubles
optimistically and to avoid burdening
your friends with them.
   It is wise to know how to keep your
friends from talking continually of their
sorrows and worries and anxieties, and
thus increasing them.
   But it is not wise to become a human
iceberg, a stone or a chunk of
putty, utterly devoid of sympathy or
   I have known several people whose
natures changed from loving helpful-
warmth and tenderness to cold, stolid
indifference through metaphysical studies.
   These people belonged to no one sect
or school.  I have found them among
the "New Thought," the "Mental Scientist,"
the "Christian Scientist," the "Divine
Being" and the no-name schools of
metaphysical students.  So it is not the
fault of the creed, but of the individual.
   It is an unfortunate thing for the
individual, the creed and for the world,
however, when such a result follows the
study of spiritual and mental laws.
   It gives a great power to attain the
perfect balance; it is a loss of power
to swing down to either coldness or
   I have seen a woman who was so
full of pity for her kind that she wept
at the sight of a tired old day laborer
on the street, change so utterly after
becoming a "Scientist" that she stared
like a wooden image, silently and dumbly,
when her best friend complained of
feeling ill.
   And I confess that the woman's old
condition, unbalanced nerves and extravagant
feeling seemed preferable to her
later "spiritual development."
   The true religion lies in being always
sympathetic, and entering into the state
of mind of the unawakened and the
undeveloped, and then knowing how to
rouse, cheer, divert and strengthen.
   It is not lessening your spiritual dignity
to say to your friend who tells you
she is physically ill or mentally sad,
"Well, tell me all about it--it will do
you good to talk it over with a friend;
then we will see if there is not a law
by which you can be made to feel better."
   Nor is it a weakness, if in the hour
of your own trial, when you are "bracing
up" and endeavoring to prove to
the world that "all is good, all is cheer,
all is health, joy and success," that you
let down the tense nerves and "cry it
   Jesus wept at lease once.  Why should
not we once in a while?  On the cross
Jesus showed suffering and even doubt
of God's remembrance when he said,
"My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
   If such moments come to us or to our
friends let us not believe we or they
are utterly lost to hope, or that they
need cold reproofs of stolid indifference
from us.
   Jesus was in His last incarnation, yet
the human man suffered and doubted
   We are far behind Him in our development,
and it is to be condoned if we
have our moments of pain and depression.
Let us be sympathetic with one
another, first of all!  Then helpful,
encouraging, strengthening.
   But, remember, sympathy is the very
keynote to the great harmony which
the morning stars sing together in the
eternal spheres.
   Without it all is discord.

Transcribed by Rich Edwards
Copy courtesy of Ruth White