Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
Social Ideals

By Vida D. Scudder

(Professor at Wellesley College, Mass.; born 1861)
DEEPER than all theories, apart from all discussion, the mighty instinct for social justice shapes the hearts that are ready to receive it. The personal types thus created are the harbingers of the victory of the cause of freedom. The heralds of freedom, they are also its martyrs. The delicate vibrations of their consciousness thrill through the larger social self which more stolid people still ignore, and the pain of the world is their own. Not for one instant can they know an undimmed joy in art, in thought, in nature while part of their very life throbs in the hunger of the dispossessed. All this by no virtue, no choice of their own. So were they born: the children of the new age, whom the new intuition governs. In every country, out of every class, they gather: men and women vowed to simplicity of life and to social service; possessed by a force mightier than themselves, over which they have no control; aware of the lack of social harmony in our civilization, restless with pain, perplexity, distress, yet filled with deep inward peace as they obey the imperative claim of a widened consciousness. By active ministry, and yet more by prayer and fast and vigil, they seek to prepare the way for the spiritual democracy on which their souls are set.  1

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