A word from Dorothy Day

From a lecture given by Jim Forest in 1997 (http://www.meetingground.org/loavfish/lf798/day.htm):

 Tom Cornell tells the story of a donor coming into the New York house one morning and giving Dorothy a diamond ring. Dorothy thanked her for the donation and put it in her pocket without batting an eye.  Later a certain demented lady came in, one of the more irritating regulars at the CW house, one of those people who make you wonder if you were cut out for life in a house of hospitality. I can’t recall her ever saying “thank you” or looking like she was on the edge of saying it.  She had a voice that could strip paint off the wall.  Dorothy took the diamond ring out of her pocket and gave it to this lady.  Someone on the staff said to Dorothy, “Wouldn’t it have been better if we took the ring to the diamond exchange, sold it, and paid that woman’s rent for a year? Dorothy replied that the woman had her dignity and could do what she liked with the ring. She could sell it for rent or take a trip to the Bahamas.  Or she could enjoy wearing a diamond ring on her hand like the woman who gave it away.  “Do you suppose,” Dorothy asked, “that God created diamonds only for the rich?”

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