Sight to the Blind
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Sight to the Blind

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Sight to the Blind, by Lucy FurmanThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Sight to the BlindAuthor: Lucy FurmanRelease Date: April 11, 2004 [EBook #11998]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SIGHT TO THE BLIND ***Produced by Al HainesSIGHT TO THE BLINDA STORYBYLUCY FURMANWITH AN INTRODUCTION BYIDA TARBELL1914TO HARRIET BUTLERContentsINTRODUCTION BY IDA M. TARBELL SIGHT TO THE BLIND AFTERWORDThe illustrations reproduced in the Introduction to this volume have been selected from those in Miss Furman's"Mothering on Perilous."Introduction Ida M. TarbellIntroductionA more illuminating interpretation of the settlement idea than Miss Furman's stories "Sight to the Blind" and "Motheringon Perilous" does not exist. Spreading what one has learned of cheerful, courageous, lawful living among those that needit has always been recognized as part of a man's work in the world. It is an obligation which has generally beendischarged with more zeal than humanity. To convert at the point of a sword is hateful business. To convert by promisesof rewards, present or future, is hardly less hateful. And yet much of the altruistic work of the world has been done by oneor a union of these methods.That to ...

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Published 08 December 2010
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Language English
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Sight to the Blind, by Lucy Furman
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Sight to the Blind
Author: Lucy Furman
Release Date: April 11, 2004 [EBook #11998]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SIGHT TO THE BLIND ***
Produced by Al Haines
SIGHT TO THE BLIND
A STORY
BY
LUCYFURMAN
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
IDA TARBELL
1914
TO HARRIETB TUELR
Contents INTRODUCTION BYIDA M. TARBELL SIGHT TO THEBLIND AFTERWORD
The illustrations reproduced in the Introduction to this volume have been selected from those in Miss Furman's "Mothering on Perilous."
Introduction Ida M. Tarbell
Introduction A more illuminating interpretation of the settlement idea than Miss Furman's stories "Sight to the Blind" and "Mothering on Perilous" does not exist. Spreading what one has learned of cheerful, courageous, lawful living among those that need it has always been recognized as part of a man's work in the world. It is an obligation which has generally been discharged with more zeal than humanity. To convert at the point of a sword is hateful business. To convert by promises of rewards, present or future, is hardly less hateful. And yet much of the altruistic work of the world has been done by one or a union of these methods. That to which we have converted men has not always been more satisfactory than our way of going at it. It has often failed to make radical changes in thought or conduct. Our reliance has been on doctrines, conventions, the three R's. They are easily sterile—almost sure to be if the teacher's spirit is one of cock-sure pride in the superiority of his religion and his cultivation. The settlement in part at least is the outgrowth of a desire to find a place in which certain new notions of enlightening men and women could be freely tested and applied. The heart of the idea lies in its name. The modern bearers of good tidings instead of handing down principles and instructions at intervals from pulpit or desk settle among those who need them. They keep open house the year around for all, and to all who will, give whatever they have learned of the art of life. They are neighbors and comrades, learners as well as teachers. It would be hard to find on the globe a group of people who need more this sort of democratic hand-to-hand contact than those Miss Furman describes, or a group with whom it is a greater satisfaction to establish it. Tucked away on the tops and slopes of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee are thousands of families, many of them descendants of the best of English stock. Centuries of direful poverty combined with almost complete isolation from the life of the world has not been able to take from them their look of race, or corrupt their brave, loyal, proud hearts. Encircled as they are by the richest and most highly cultivated parts of this country, near as they are to us in blood, we have done less for their enlightenment than for that of the Orient, vastly less than we do for every new-come immigrant. On the religious side all that they have had is the occasional itinerant preacher, thundering at them of the wrath of God; and on the cultural what Aunt Dalmanutha calls the "pindling" district school. In the teachings of both is an over-weight of sternness and superstition, little "plain human kindness," almost nothing that points the way to decent, happy, healthy living. The results are both grotesque and pitiful. Is it strange that the feud should flourish in a land ruled by a "God of wrath?" Is anything but sickness and death to be expected where both are looked on as visitations of an angry God? Among these victims of our neglect and our blundering methods of teaching the settlement school has gone. It goes to stay. Not three months, but twelve months its teaching goes on; not one Sabbath in the month, but three hundred and sixty-five days in the year it preaches. Literally it is a new world which the settlement opens to the mountaineers, one ruled by cleanliness, thrift, knowledge and good-will. The beauty of it is that living day after day under this order they come to know that its principles are practical truths; that they work out. To be told that the baby is dying not because the Lord is angry with the family but because the milk is impure may seem little better than impiety at first, but save the baby by proper care and you have gone a long way to proving that pure milk is God's law and that all the prayers in the world will not change His ruling. For distorted imaginings of the way the world is run the settlement is giving to the mountaineers something of the harmony and beauty of science. New notions of heroism and honor are filtering into the country along with the notions of sanitation and health. That injuries can be honorably forgiven and forgotten is a hard doctrine to swallow in Eastern Kentucky, but when you see it practiced by those from the great world of which you have only dreamed it comes easier.
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