Date: July 18, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
This world is made up of all kinds of people. Some are good and some are better, while others have made it necessary for the government to take charge of them. But it is a very hasty and ill-considered judgment to conclude that there is more bad than good in any one. We are all a combination of both elements. While we ought not to approve of the evil in ourselves or in others, if we should attempt to have no associations with any but saints we should find ourselves very lonely. The only perfect man ate and drank with publicans and sinners. It did not scandalize Him, it was some of those who were not perfect who were scandalized. There is enough good in all of us to support the law of human fellowship. We shall be much more effective for good if we treat men not as they are but as they ought to be.
If we judge ourselves only by our aspirations and every one else only by their conduct we shall reach a very false conclusion. When we have exhausted the possibilities of criticism on ourselves it will be time enough to apply it to others. The world needs high social standards and we should do our best to maintain them, but they should rest on the broad base of Christian charity.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Robert Manchester who prepared this document for digital publication.