Quaker Culture: Challenge

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We are sometimes told that the only way to change society is to change its members individually. But this is not only unduly pessimistic; it involves a disregard of man’s nature as a social being and what is implied by our membership one of another. Because man is a social being, the spiritual level of a whole society can be lifted permanently by a few dedicated individuals, and a great reform such as the abolition of slavery can be brought about even though in other respects the ethical development of the mass of its members remains substantially unchanged. This fact is at the same time an encouragement and a challenge to all who are working for human progress.

          – W. Russell Brain (1944)

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