Americanitis is a term coined by Europeans to designate the malady common to Americans, of hurrying and worrying; of excitement and nervousness; of restlessness and discontent.
"This is an apt term", comments author John R. Gunn, "We have the disease and in quite an aggrevated form. In all lines of business, everything moves with a mad rush and with the aim to get rich quick. Religious services are required to be brisk and sermons brief. There must be no time lost between the Doxology and the Benediction.
In almost every area of life, we look for the shortcut. 'We do things' - is the great American motto. In addition to attending to private business, with all its pressures, we rush from the meeting of one organization to another. No wonder we're kept keyed to the highest possible tension."
Marking a similar tendency to restlessness and feverish activity among the people of Israel, Isaiah said to them, In returning and rest, shall ye be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.
Americans today have special need of this word of the ancient prophet. We must become aware of our need for quietness and calmness. We must realize their value. Quietness and meditation are necessary to strong intellect, moral poise and deep spirituality. If we fail to gain these qualities, all other gains are of little value.