Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. THURSDAY, MAY 8, 1919. OBLIGATIONS.
T3ie censures passed by the Hon. J. A. Hanan, Minister of Education, on those wealthy people in the Dominion who: do not sufficiently subscribe to causes furthering the common good, will be endorsed by many, especially among those who lack material possessions. It: is easy to tell others not to fall victims to temptations that do not assail ourselves, but there are obligations other than financial, and ways of doing good quite apart from finance. Moneyed men could tell Ministers of instances of failure to use their own wealth of power for the public weal, and, indeed, the parable of the mote ami. the beam will never grow obsolete. We are not trying to excuse those men and women who are apparently determined to hold .on to what is their own, and it lias often been a subject for comment that there is in the newlysettled countries, a want of the public spirit, prominent .in the Motherland, for instance, which prompts the wealthy to endow the community with public utilities. The Dominion can boast of many instances of such generosity, but not to the. extent that might be expected. Many do not believe that it is better to give than to receive, or perhaps their generous instincts were atrophied during the struggle to obtain the wealth now possessed. They are slaves to that of which they believe they are. masters, and they are to be pitied as well as blamed. Some of the wealthy, in reply to their, v critic<4. niiffht declare that although their gifts to individual objects ma- seem' small, yet they contribute to.-many of such causes,, and the total is, at least, respectable. Nor is their capital sufficiently liquid to enable them to donate the large sums expected. Such replies, however, would be regarded as mere evasions, and the wealthy defaulters' best defence wouid be .attack. They should challenge their impecunious detractors to announce what they'dofforr r their fellow-men. If lack of money prevents aid in kincl, have they not natural abilities to render gifts in service? There must be very few people who have not some talent which they could devote to helping humanity, but the. call''passes unheeded, or else the other fellow is left to answer it. It is undeniable that many of . our wealthy evade their obligations, but it is equally true, and perhaps more lamentable, that the poor, as a class, often fail to realise their part of the social contract.