Short Stories » Delicacy of Feeling

Delicacy of Feeling

THE value of a charitable deed depends entirely upon the way it is done. Remember, the poor are always sensitive. Said a poor woman: "If anyone gives me anything and then tells of it, I’ve paid for it" Yes, paid for it in shame and distress more than the gift was worth. Said a lady at her gate one day: "That's Mrs. Dean; I know it's her by her dress. I gave it to her."

Once one man said to another, " I gave you this work because you were poor and I thought you'd be glad to get it." Why did he remind the man of his distress, already hard to bear? It would have sounded much better if he had said: " It is very handy getting this work done so near home. I am glad you could do it for me." The workman would have thought: "I like to work for him, his manners are so pleasant."

Now judge which is nicest. A lady was having the Primary Association girls at her house to make a quilt for a donation to some worthy object. One girl whispered: "My sister and I are the only ones here without white aprons." She did not know it was overheard till after dinner, when the hostess appeared from an inner room and whispered to her, "Now you're not the only ones with gingham aprons on." I heard the whisper, glanced at the two faces, and lovelier smiles I never saw. They were from the hearts of sympathy and appreciation.

International Short Story Writing Contest for School Children