Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/105

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93
A WORD ON GOOD CITIZENSHIP.

What form, then, shall our charity take in the immediate future?

Take that question home to yourselves, each of you who has not answered it already; ask it of yourselves, not as if you were asked to take the position of hero, or martyr, or professed philanthropist, but as if I had said to you, “What do you, as a man or woman, feel bound to do beyond the circle of your family for those who are fellow-men, fellow-citizens, many of them sunk into deep ruts of desolation, poverty, and sin?” Find some answer, live up to it, so shall your own life, your own city, your own age be better.

I will tell you what kind of answer I think may come to you. First, as to money, which is perhaps the most difficult thing to give without doing harm. Don’t sit down under the conviction that therefore you are to buy or spend it all for yourself. If you like to earn rather less, to pause in middle life, and give full thought to spending what you have,