Family Debts

     The newly appointed chairman of the local fund-raising
committee decided to call personally at the home of the town's
wealthiest citizen, a man known for his tightness with a dollar.
Remarking on the impressive economic resources of his host, the
committee chairman pointed out how miserly it would seem if the
town's richest man failed to give a substantial donation to the
annual charity drive.
     "Since you've gone to so much trouble checking on my
assets," the millionaire retorted, "let me fill you in on some
facts you may have overlooked.  I have a ninety-one-year-old
mother who has been hospitalized for the past five years, a
widowed daughter with five young children and no means of
support, and two brothers who owe the Government a fortune in
back taxes.  Now, I think you'll agree, young man, that charity
begins at home."
     Ashamed for having misjudged his host, the fund raiser
apologized for his tactlessness and added, "I had no idea that
you were saddled with so many family debts."
     "I'm not," replied the millionaire, "but you must be crazy
to think I'd give money to strangers when I won't even help my
own relatives."

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This message was sent on 13 Jun 1996