"Two thousand years ago lived One who saw the absurdity of a man's loving only his friends. He saw that this meant friction and faction, lines of social cleavage, with ultimate discord; and so he painted the truth large, and declared that we should love our enemies and do good to those who might despitefully use us. He was one with the erring, the weak, the insane, the poor, and he was free from prejudice and fear. He was a man set apart, because he had no competition in matters of love. If we can imitate his divine patience and keep thoughts of discord out of our lives, we, too, can work such wonders that men will indeed truthfully say that we are the sons of God."
Dear Miss Addams: I have just finished your book. Year before last, I profited much [page 2] by associating with the Apostle Paul and his modern incarnation Dr. Grenfell. Last year, during an exile in England, I lived much with John Ruskin and St. Francis as interpreted by Paul Sabatier. Now your book starts me off on the new year. All breathe that passionate love of men which must find expression by helping them.
I am surprised that your conclusions and inner experiences should have been so similar to my own when your city world has been so different from my country one. But I suppose the matter of reaching people living in a different world from our own is fundamentally the same everywhere. [page 3]
Your Tolstoy experience is significant to me. I had not known of another person who was struggling over this perplexing question -- the barrier of differing circumstances. A tired mother said to me: "I reckon you never had no trouble. You never have to worry over food and clothes for your children." How could I have any burdens if I did not have hers? I have longed for a fellowship of suffering which would make them (and myself) certain that I knew and understood.
What you say of "Social education" I wish might reach every college student and graduate. Over and over I have been convinced of the truth [page 4] of your conviction. A mountain woman fifty miles from the railroad was telling me of their school teacher a college student from another state who was spending his vacation in teaching. "He seems to be a good man, an' I reckon he knows a heap; but he stays to hisself an' reads books. I reckon he got that habit in college. But hit takes talkin' an' mixin' to do folks good -- leastways ignorants folks like us!"
Thank you for writing the book. It gives me real strength and courage.
Dec. 31, 1910.