An exploration by Anna Garlin Spencer on what it means to be a human striving to be one’s best self, and how religion and ethics come together.

….Every human being may be better … We know it, because we — the human beings we know best — could be better than we are. Every human being should take advantage of his opportunity, however poor. We know this because we feel that we have failed to make the best of our opportunities. Every human being can… become a larger, finer, and fairer specimen of the human race. This is the gospel of religion and this is the gospel of personal ethics.

“To put forth all one’s strength” as the Psalmist says, to become that better creature one sees in vision — this is to “verify one’s credentials” as a spiritual being. For this end of spiritual appeal and stimulation, for this end of daring uplift even from the dregs of circumstance, the church has existed and societies like this been formed. This high function of religion has been justified by human experience. It was never more needed for conscious leadership than now….

… Be and do the best you see and can gain strength to realize, wherever life has placed you and at whatever cost of struggle!

— Anna Garlin Spencer, Philadelphia, 1908
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