THE other day I was watching a television show that brings its viewers up to date on the latest show business news. While I'm sometimes interested in what the world's celebrities are doing or saying, it struck me as odd that we tend to exalt people who are in the public eye. Celebrities become heroes. It would seem at times that fame, in and of itself, is synonymous with worth, that because the person who said this or did that is well known, it must be true, or meaningful, or important. Of course, celebrities, like anyone else, often have important things to say. And many make valuable contributions to society. But there tends to be an underlying belief that those in the public eye are somehow more important than those who aren't.
If we've been inclined to feel of little significance in a society that often finds its heroes in the movies and on television, we might think more deeply about what has the most meaningful effect on humanity. Certainly those in the limelight can have a widespread influence, either positive or negative. But in a profound way we all have the capacity to benefit society greatly, even if we feel we're doing insignificant work, because our most meaningful contribution to the world stems from the quality of our thinking.
When our thoughts reflect something of the divine power that alone can heal humanity, our lives take on profound significance. The one God, who is infinite Love, is the sole source of genuine good, of all that can truly benefit mankind. And to the degree that we recognize that fact and express the purity, love, wisdom, spiritual strength, and so forth inherent in our creator -- and therefore inherent in our own true nature as His likeness -- we're living heroic lives. We're having a powerful impact, not only in our own immediate sphere but on human thought in general. As Christ Jesus said, ``Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.''1
We also become a powerful influence for good through our prayers for humanity. The world may not know of our efforts. We probably won't get publicity over the airwaves. But the results of our work will be immeasurable if we're praying to God with an understanding of His nature and of His care for man. It's not a pleading with God that will bring the greatest benefit but a silent realization of His absolute supremacy and of man's inseparability from His wise government.
It would often seem as though an individual's -- or the world's -- troubles are too convoluted to benefit from prayer. But prayer is the very thing that can shed light on a situation and open the way to a solution. The need is not only to realize divine Love's harmonious government of man but also to recognize that the true selfhood of each individual -- beyond what appearances would have us believe -- is Love's spiritual image, perfect now and always. Such prayer must, and does, help to lift humanity above an enslaved, material sense of life.
Clearly, this work can never be self-centered but must always reach out to bless others as well. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, once wrote in a letter to a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, ``Be great not as a grand obelisk, nor by setting up to be great, -- only as good.''2 And as she observes elsewhere, ``Meekness, moderating human desire, inspires wisdom and procures divine power.''3
Our prayers and the pure quality of our thoughts do count. They make us the truest kind of heroes for humanity, whoever we are.
1Matthew 5:16. 2The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 203. 3Miscellaneous Writings, p. 360.