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appoint a take the committe committe required out; and of talkir agement sidering
experien as a reg bad for and end characte guarder absolut
is necessary, as it too often is, it tends to pervert and injure the
Instead of eleven district committees there should be forty local
system systen ent si ideal rende done to d
appoint an especially intelligent and sympathetic man or woman to take the moral oversight; and he should at once go to the district committee meeting nearest to his own house, lay the facts before the committee, and ask their advice and help. If physical relief were required, the best source from which to obtain it would be pointed out; and, in any event, the visitor would at least have the advantage of talking over the possible ways of helping, and would get encouragement from the experience of persons who were constantly considering the needs of just such families.
In regard to physical relief to able-bodied men and women the experience of 1893-94 would seem to show that, while relief-work as a regular annual means of giving relief would probably be very bad for the community as a whole by encouraging the less efficient and energetic workers to depend on it, yet its influence on the character of the individual may be good, and, if very carefully guarded, it may be the best means of giving such relief as is absolutely necessary and inevitable.
But I do not wish to be supposed to be presenting an ideal relief system. There is no ideal system of relief. For relief-giving by system is an evil; and even though a necessary evil, as at the present stage of our social development it seems to be, yet the only ideal in connection with it is that it may in time render itself or be rendered unnecessary. I think no one yet knows how this can be done; but the means by which we shall reach the knowledge of how to do it I believe to be evident, and that is by the patient and careful study, by educated men and women who go to live as neighbors of the poor workers in the crowded parts of the city, of the actual people who must be helped and of the conditions that must be changed.
The fact that such educated neighbors can do a great deal to make those around them happier and better is self-evident; for, however wonderfully the overruling and omnipotent "Power that makes for Righteousness" may turn what seem to us fatal surroundings into a means of grace to the human soul, yet there are many ways in which those who have had larger opportunities can bring pleasure and beauty to the toilers in swarming tenement houses. In the daily intercourse with the children, with the boys and girls, and with the young men and women, much can be done to awaken nobler ambitions and create higher ideals. But, impor
work drun and
tant as this personal work is, I do not think it the most important work to be done. The chief value, to my mind, of the colonizing of the more highly educated and, from a worldly standpoint, more favored individuals among those who live in densely crowded neighborhoods, and work hard for a good part of every twentyfour hours, is that they come to know them, to know their lives and to know their needs, and can report them to the people who have the power to supply what is needed.
Experts are required now in every field. Most people have not time to attend to more than their own immediate surroundings and business. So many things press for attention that much which is of the greatest importance is pushed aside, and therefore it is necessary that each part of the public weal should be especially studied by those who devote themselves to personal observation and the collection of facts; and such students and collectors of facts in sociology are, or ought to be, the men and women who take up their residence among the “plain people," as Lincoln called them, and observe their daily life near at hand and all day long and every day
The reason “charity” (so called, although it is sad to degrade
It has kept out of the way of it, and has tried in a feeble and i
When “charity” has found men and women drunken and shift
away from them, and has said, “That's the way poor pe are”; but it has not asked why they were so or tried to pre their being so.
When girls have gone wrong and boys have stolen, “charity provided Refuges for the girls and has put the boys into prison has talked as if such ruin of lives, and what looks like ruin of were inevitable, never even wondering what other outlet fo
natural love of pleasure and adventure, so carefully provided for in
Now, that is all changed or is changing; and it is, I believe, be-
But, notwithstanding all the virtues and all the heroism of the mass of the people, they do need and ought to have a great many things they do not have, and the whole community ought to help them to get them ; but the first step toward helping them to get them is to know exactly what they need, and this knowledge the “residents” in college settlements and the individual residents in tenement houses must get for us. They must report the neglect of the city government to do its duty, whether as street-cleaners, as police, or as educator. They must report the oppression of employers, whether the oppression be the result of individual carelessness or, as is often the case, the result of trade conditions. They must cry aloud for more air, more space, for a larger and better life in every way for the great masses of men and women in our cities.
Not only does self-interest require that we help to lift our fellowmen, to make them useful citizens, law-abiding, and industrious, but no one can escape the responsibility for the intellectual and moral development of the race. As Drummond says, “the directing of part of the course of evolution” has passed into the hands of man.
“A spectator of the drama for ages, too ignorant to know that it was a drama, and too impotent to do more than play his
Nature meant him to become a partner in her task, and share the responsibility of the closing acts. It is not given him as yet to bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades or to unloose the bands of Orion. In part only can he make the winds and the waves obey him or control the falling rain. . . . But in a far grander sphere and in an infinitely profounder sense has the sovereignty passed to him. For he finds himself the guardian and the arbiter of his personal destiny and of that of his fellow-men. The moulding of his life and of that of his children's children in measure lies
und Luis, the