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Jane Addams (1860 – 1935)


American social reformer.
Jane Addams
... life cannot be administered by definite rules and regulations; that wisdom to deal with a manís difficulties comes only through some knowledge of his life and habits as a whole ...
Addams quotes
With all the efforts made by modern society to nurture and educate the young, how stupid it is to permit the mothers of young children to spend themselves in the coarser work of the world!
Addams
... social advance depends quite as much upon an increase in moral sensibility as it does upon a sense of duty ...




Addams Jane quotes
The Settlement ... is an experimental effort to aid in the solution of the social and industrial problems which are engendered by the modern conditions of life in a great city. It insists that these problems are not confined to any one portion of the city. It is an attempt to relieve, at the same time, the overaccumulation at one end of society and the destitution at the other ...
Addams Jane
These young people accomplish little toward the solution of this social problem, and bear the brunt of being cultivated into unnourished, oversensitive lives. They have been shut off from the common labor by which they live which is a great source of moral and physical health. They feel a fatal want of harmony between their theory and their lives, a lack of coŲrdination between thought and action. I think it is hard for us to realize how seriously many of them are taking to the notion of human brotherhood, how eagerly they long to give tangible expression to the democratic ideal. These young men and women, longing to socialize their democracy, are animated by certain hopes which may be thus loosely formulated; that if in a democratic country nothing can be permanently achieved save through the masses of the people, it will be impossible to establish a higher political life than the people themselves crave; that it is difficult to see how the notion of a higher civic life can be fostered save through common intercourse; that the blessings which we associate with a life of refinement and cultivation can be made universal and must be made universal if they are to be permanent; that the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.
Jane Addams quotes
The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.
Jane Addams
A Settlement is above all a place for enthusiasms, a spot to which those who have a passion for the equalization of human joys and opportunities are early attracted.
Addams Jane quotes
Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men.
Addams
I had a consuming ambition to possess a miller's thumb. I believe I have never since wanted anything more desperately than I wanted my right thumb to be flattened as my fatherís had become, during his earlier years of a millerís life.
Addams Jane
... of all the aspects of social misery nothing is so heartbreaking as unemployment ...
Jane Addams
... this dream that men shall cease to waste strength in competition and shall come to pool their powers of production is coming to pass all over the earth.




Jane Addams quotes
We all bear traces of the starvation struggle which for so long made up the life of the race. Our very organism holds memories and glimpses of that long life of our ancestors which still goes on among so many of our contemporaries. Nothing so deadens the sympathies and shrivels the power of enjoyment as the persistent keeping away from the great opportunities for helpfulness and a continual ignoring of the starvation struggle which makes up the life of at least half the race. To shut oneís self away from that half of the race life is to shut oneís self away from the most vital part of it; it is to live out but half the humanity to which we have been born heir.
Jane Addams
[The Settlement House] must be grounded in a philosophy whose foundation is on the solidarity of the human race, a philosophy which will not waver when the race happens to be represented by a drunken woman or an idiot boy.
Addams quotes
... the task of youth is not only its own salvation but the salvation of those against whom it rebels, but in that case there must be something vital to rebel against and if the elderly stiffly refuse to put up a vigorous front of their own, it leaves the entire situation in a mist.
Addams Jane
We fatuously hoped that we might pluck from the human tragedy itself a consciousness of a common destiny which should bring its own healing, that we might extract from lifeís very misfortunes a power of cooperation which should be effective against them.
Addams Jane quotes
I dreamed night after night that everyone in the world was dead excepting myself, and that upon me rested the responsibility of making a wagon wheel.
Jane Addams
The common stock of intellectual enjoyment should not be difficult of access because of the economic position of him who would approach it.
Jane Addams quotes
... if the Settlement seeks its expression through social activity, it must learn the difference between mere social unrest and spiritual impulse.
Jane Addams
If the underdog were always right, one might quite easily try to defend him. The trouble is that very often he is but obscurely right, sometimes only partially right, and often quite wrong; but perhaps he is never so altogether wrong and pig-headed and utterly reprehensible as he is represented to be by those who add the possession of prejudices to the other almost insuperable difficulties of understanding him.
Addams Jane
Hospitality still survives among foreigners, although it is buried under false pride among the poorest Americans.


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