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The Journal 1873.
Young Friends' Review 1886.
PHILADELPHIA, FIRST MONTH 11, 1908.
In view of the awakening in our Society, I think the beginning of new activities will not be to go out to hunt new fields of action, but to face the work in our own borders, and fulfil the duties we are already familiar with. A FRIEND.
THE SAILING OF THE FLEET.
Thou hast gone forth with war upon thy prow,
O Fleet, when men had hoped that wars should cease, To give the menacing, mailed hand of peace In fellowship to nations we would cow. Grim Fleet of strength! while thy proud keels may plough Unfriendly seas, may no base hand release
The bolt of war, nor cowards in mad caprice
Blast thee with death to keep a hellish vow.
And teach the fiercer blood of torrid suns,
THE GOOD NEIGHBOR.
Taking for her theme, the parable of the Good Samaritan, Miss Mary E. Richmond, general secretary of the Philadelphia Society for Organizing Charity, has recently written a little book that for genuine usefulness and practicability is probably one of the best pieces of literature to be had by either the volunteer or professional worker in the field of charity and philanthropy. Miss Richmond has chosen for the title of her new book, "The Good Neighbor." In reading through the 150 odd pages of the little volume one comes to the conclusion that being a good neighbor means far more than nine out of ten of us seem to realize; it involves duties and responsibilities of which it is a very easy matter for us who spend our days in a great city to be oblivious. It is plain that every day of our lives we may, if we will, act the part of the Good Samaritan. But Miss Richmond recognizes the fact that very many of us have the desire to be neighborly in the best sense without having the necessary knowledge to enable us to accomplish our desire. She has in a simple and decidedly pleasant manner given a wealth of information and suggestion for our help, all of which has come from her own experience in striving to extend the helping hand just as often and as effectively as possible. The modern thought |
Volume LXV. Number 2.
that being charitable and philanthropic is no mere matter of sentiment, but that it is preeminently a matter of sentiment guided by intelligent thought and willingness to serve is emphasized in this new book. The writer does not agree with Professor Patten of the University of Pennsylvania when, in his book on "The New Basis of Civilization," he seems to belittle what he calls "service altruism," the sympathetic, personal assistance of those who, like the man helped by the Samaritan, have been wounded and have fallen by the wayside. Professor Patten would make of greater importance, in fact the key note of modern charity, "Income altruism"-money power, which, he says, hews to the base of evils confronting present-day society. In her introduction Miss Richmond says, "Income altruism is indeed needed, but without a strong infusion of the service altruism it never kept anything policed and lighted, 'never hewed to the base' since the world began, and never will." Continuing, she says, "Another common mistake made by those who write upon social questions in these days is to assume that 'cure' and 'prevention' are opposed to one another, and that prevention cannot get its just due until we spend less time in curing the ills of individuals. Never was there a more mischievous social fallacy! Prevention and cure must go hand in hand. In winning for the present generation of consumptives, for instance, the kindest and most adequate care, we are cutting out many centers of contagion and at the same time educating the public as to the true means of prevention.
"The means of cure and prevention are not far from each one of us, nor does their use demand great expenditure of time and effort. Each one by taking a little thought can do more than might at first appear without becoming either a trained expert or an income altruist, and his service will weigh double when it is done, not in the patronizing spirit of the benefactor, but in the democratic spirit of the good neighbor." Expressing the conviction that there must be a wider recognition among charitable people of the need for a modification of methods to meet present day conditions if there is to be any great social advance, Miss Richmond states her purpose in writing her book to be "a description of the various ways in which modern Samaritans may use the inns and innkeepers of today in assisting those who have fallen among thieves.'
No attempt is made to interpret neighborliness in all of its aspects, but consideration is given to the bad conditions and remedial agencies that surround some of our poorer neighbors, including the city children at play, at school, at work, at home and in the streets; men and women who make the goods we buy; tenants who live in the houses we build and rent; men without homes who stop us on the street; families that have been worsted in life's struggle by accident or death; and the sick who should have been strong and well. Perhaps the most helpful feature of the book is, that in each chapter there are definite suggestions given for dealing with problems of one kind and another that come up for solution to the individual good neighbor, at his home, his office, the meeting and elsewhere. The book ought to be read by every one connected with such organizations as the King's Daughters, the Neighborhood Guild and philanthropic committees. It will give little encouragement to that dilettante class that loves to be entertained with sweet sounding lectures and talks upon love and charity in the abstract, but it ought to be helpful to all who really desire to serve men, be it in ever so small a degree.
The book has been published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., and may be had from the Friends' Book Association for 60 cents.
ARTHUR M. DEWEES. Chairman of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's Philanthropic Committee.
FROM A FRIEND IN HOLLAND—III. After reading Through the Gates of the Netherlands" I felt as though it was scarcely worth while for me to write you any more letters, for Miss Waller seems to have told about every place we have visited and even many of our personal experiences. I really only need to refer you to the proper pages and there you will find all I should write. As we read the book sitting round our own cozy fireside in Villa Bosch Hoek, not ten minutes walk from her Villa Antoine, we passed in review the pleasures and trials of our first weeks of housekeeping, and heard once more the sweet bells of Middelburg and wandered again through the streets of "dear old Dort."
which characteristic the neighboring towns hold it in some scorn-we can scarcely step outside our door without seeing something interesting or amusing, and we never go to The Hague without discovering some new characteristic or custom. Only the other day as I was paying a bill, I was surprised when, in addition to my change, the clerk handed me eight cents. "For the servant' he explained, noticing my surprise, and I found it is the custom for dealers to allow something for the servant when she pays a bill. When the mistress pays it herself, the fee is given just the same, but whether it then ever reaches the servant, I cannot say.
The maid regularly receives a percentage from the butcher, the baker, the grocer, etc., when their bills are over three or four dollars, and it is also the custom for dinner guests as well as those staying longer in the house to give the maids generous fees, so while their wages are low-two dollars a week being considered excellent pay-they have more sources of income than have our maids in America. The servant problem is said to be very serious in Holland, as elsewhere, but there is undoubtedly a much stronger sense of obligation to keep contracts and a more respectful bearing-if a somewhat freer manner-than with us. After our own experience here we are inclined to believe that Dutch housekeepers do not know what a real Servant Problem is.
[First month 11, 1908
We are constantly impressed with the great number of inconveniences which everyone seems to accept as inevitable-doors which never latch unless the knobs are turned, and knobs which are a constant reminder that patience is a virtue-and with the useless labor unquestioningly performed for custom's sake. In our kitchen, for instance, hang beautiful brass and copper pans for ornament solely-as are also the long brass handles of· a curious Dutch pump now defunct. Our maid never has to be told to keep these bright; it is her pride and pleasure to do so, even if some things more important but less obvious are neglected.
Scrubbing and polishing seem to be the chief pleasures of these Dutch working women, and when the day of our weekly upheaval arrives we feel like fleeing to The Hague, only we know we should find no relief there, for the same thing is going on not only inside the houses but outside, and the pedestrian must be prepared to pick his way amongst the vehicles in the street or ford the numerous streams of water that flow across the sidewalk.
In spite of this continual cleaning I have not yet seen a real broom in Holland. The only approach to one is the awkward implement used by the street cleaners a great bunch of heather