Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Wrong Crowd ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Wrong Crowd ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Where I went to high school, there were groups of kids that hung out together. There were the smart kids, the popular/athletic kids, kids who experimented with alcohol and drugs, and, my particular favorite, the misfits.

The misfits, and I counted myself one, were people who didn't really fit in any particular category. "Shunned by all, envied by none" might have been our motto, if we had been that organized a crowd. We were the ones no one sat with at lunch or whose clothes didn't readily conform to one of the other groups. It sounds lonely, but looking back, I'm glad that I was able to think of myself as an individual and act and dress in a way that expressed who I thought I was, with no pressure to conform to a certain group.

It took me a long time to realize that dressing and playing the part of a non-conformist was just another clique, not really better or worse than all the rest. What really counted was how I acted toward others.

As I reflect on my stand in high school, I gain a better perspective when I read something written by the woman who founded this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy: "Take away wealth, fame, and social organizations, which weigh not one jot in the balance of God, and we get clearer views of Principle. Break up cliques, level wealth with honesty, let worth be judged according to wisdom, and we get better views of humanity" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 239).

I wish I could say I turned to God for my sense of worth during those troubled years. How much freedom I would have found in resting my scared self in His loving arms and letting Him guide me. I was like a person in a house with all the windows and doors shut tight. The sun was shining, pouring down, ever available, but I was too stubborn to go out and bask in it. I thought I was having a good time in my dark house.

Eventually, some sad experiences turned my footsteps to higher roads. I was surprised to find that it wasn't a long journey until I found peace and felt the presence of God. …

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