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 one's self away from that half of the race life is to shut one's 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 (1860–1935), U.S. social worker and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 6 (1910).
From a lecture, "The Subjective Necessity for Social Settlements," delivered in 1892 at a summer school run by the Ethical Culture Society. Addams was the founding director of Hull-House, a pioneer "settlement house" in a poor, largely immigrant, Chicago neighborhood.