If you had more money than time, more millions than you knew how to spend, what would be your pet philanthropy? Libraries? Hospitals? Churches? Homes for the blind, crippled, or aged? Mine would be homes - but not for the aged or infirm. For young married couples! I have often thought that if ever I got into the philanthropic billionaire class, I'd like to start an endowment fund for helping young married couples over the rough spots in those first and second years of married life - especially the second year, when the real troubles come.
Take a boy and a girl and a cozy little nest - add a cunning, healthy baby - and there's nothing happier on God's green footstool. But instead of a healthy babe, fill in a fretful, sickly baby; a wan, tired, worn-out little mother; and a worried, dejected, heartsick father, and there's nothing more pitiful. A nurse for a month, a few weeks at the shore or mountains, a lift on that heavy doctor's bill - any one of these things would spell H-E-A-V-E-N to that tiny family.
But do they get it? Not often! And the reason? Because they are not poor enough for charity. They are not rich enough to afford it themselves. They belong to that great middle class that has to bear the burdens of both the poor and the rich and take what is left for itself. It is to them that I should like to dedicate this book. If I cannot endow libraries or colleges for them, perhaps I can point the way to get all good gifts for themselves. For men and women like them do not need charity nor even sympathy. What they do need is inspiration and opportunity - the kind of inspiration that makes a man go out and create his own opportunity. And that, after all, is the greatest good one can do anyone.