Altruism – A Besetting Virtue

Altruism is one of our besetting virtues. And a charming and gracious virtue it is. But we have not learned that altruism which is not subjected to the stern tests of critical intelligence is sure to betray both the gracious lover of his kind and the object of his beneficence…We have not served the cause of those who are oppressed when we have taught them to think only of the wrongs which they have suffered and never of the responsibilities which they must accept.

Lynn Harold Hough, Patterns of the Mind, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York and London, 1942, First Edition, pg.2

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