Wilkins was shocked by the devastation inflicted upon the Russian people when he visited there in the 1920’s. In a letter to his friend Yanagita he wrote:
Revolutionaries see only the end state. Their minds are rarely big enough to see how the people they hope to save cannot reach this place alone. They have to be carried. It’s like a parable my father once told me about: how Jesus carried a man through his most difficult times. We have to be the people’s Jesus if we want them to make it safely from where they have been to where we want them to be.