Let it not grieve you to bow down your ear to the poor, and give him a friendly answer with meekness.
All Commentaries on Wisdom of Sirach 4:8 Go To Wisdom of Sirach 4
The wisest of people understands the avarice and pride of human nature. He considers the nature of poverty and its terrible power to depress even the most generous spirit and to induce it often to act without shame. And so, in order that a person should not be irritated when accosted or be provoked by the continual placing of demands on him so that he becomes an enemy when he ought to bring help, such a person is instructed to be affable and accessible to the one who is asking him for things by the words, "Incline your ear to the poor, and answer him peaceably and gently." And passing over the case of one who succeeds in exasperating"for what can one say to him who is overcome?"he addresses the person who is able to bear the other"s infirmity, exhorting him before he bestows his gift to correct the suppliant by the gentleness of his countenance and the mildness of his words.