[Ads-l] Saying: The test of a nation's civilization is its care of its weakest members.

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 13 16:58:55 EDT 2017


There is a large family of sayings that present a metric for
evaluating a society. Here is an example.

Year: 1913
Title: Proceedings of The National Conference of Charities and
Correction at the Fortieth Annual Session Held in Seattle, Washington,
July 5-12, 1913
Article: Probation, Prisons and Parole: The Honor System of Prison Labor
Author: Mrs. Millie R. Trumbull, Portland, Oregon (Representing
Governor Oswald West)
Start Page 116, Quote Page 116
Printer: Fort Wayne Printing Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana

https://books.google.com/books?id=haY5AQAAMAAJ&q=%22weakest+members%22#v=snippet&

[Begin excerpt]
The test of a nation's civilization is its care of its weakest members.
[End excerpt]

The expression is highly variable. The first part might refer to a
society, nation, government, or civilization. The latter part might
refer to the poor, the less fortunate, the helpless, or the lowest.

Perhaps a list member would be willing to share some earlier examples
and/or examples from prominent individuals. I see claims that it is
biblical or ancient, but would like precise citations.

Thanks, Garson

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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