Who is Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer (January 14, 1875-September 4, 1965) was born into an Alsatian family which for generations had been devoted to religion, music, and education. His father and maternal grandfather were ministers; both of his grandfathers were talented organists; many of his relatives were persons of scholarly attainments.
Schweitzer entered into his intensive theological studies in 1893 at the University of Strasbourg where he obtained a doctorate in philosophy in 1899, with a dissertation on the religious philosophy of Kant, and received his licentiate in theology in 1900. He began preaching at St. Nicholas Church in Strasbourg in 1899; he served in various high ranking administrative posts from 1901 to 1912 in the Theological College of St.Thomas, the college he had attended at the University of Strasbourg. In 1906 he published The Quest of the Historical Jesus, a book on which much of his fame as a theological scholar rests.
Albert Schweitzer Quotes
1. Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.
2. There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.
3. If you love something so much let it go. If it comes back it was meant to be; if it doesn’t it never was
4. Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
5. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
6. Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.
7. Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
8. In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
9. We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.
10. Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
11. Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter — to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.
12. Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.
13. I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
14. We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.
15. At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
16. The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind.
17. In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.
18. A man does not have to be an angel to be a saint.
19. Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile.
20. He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.
21. No one can give a definition of the soul. But we know what it feels like. The soul is the sense of something higher than ourselves, something that stirs in us thoughts, hopes, and aspirations which go out to the world of goodness, truth and beauty. The soul is a burning desire to breathe in this world of light and never to lose it–to remain children of light.
22. Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.
23. The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.
24. The tragedy in a man’s life is what dies inside of him while he lives.
25. The thinking (person) must oppose all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another.
26. O heavenly Father,
protect and bless all things
that have breath: guard them
from all evil and let them sleep in peace.
27. Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.
28. Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.
29. The the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hope are optimistic.
30. Seek always to do some good, somewhere… Even if it’s a little thing, so something for those that need help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
31. Man can no longer live for himself alone. We must realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe.
32. The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.
33. True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness: ‘I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live
34. For animals that are overworked, underfed, and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death…and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words.
35. Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.
36. Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in a world all of your own.
37. The doctor of the future will be oneself.
38. No ray of sunshine is ever lost but the green that it awakens takes time to sprout, and it is not always given the sower to see the harvest.
39. Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it.
40. In the past we have tried to make a distinction between animals which we acknowledge have some value and other which, having none, can be liquidated when we wish. This standard must be abandoned. Everything that lives has value simply as a living thing, as one of the manifestations of the mystery that is life.
41. I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live.
42. The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.
43. If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life.
44. When I look back upon my early days I am stirred by the thought of the number of people whom I have to thank for what they gave me or for what they were to me. At the same time I am haunted by an oppressive consciousness of the little gratitude I really showed them while I was young. How many of them have said farewell to life without having made clear to them what it meant to me to receive from them so much kindness or so much care! Many a time have I, with a feeling of shame, said quietly to myself over a grave the words which my mouth ought to have spoken to the departed, while he was still in the flesh.
45. The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; but to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies.
46. The demands of Jesus are difficult because they require us to do something extraordinary. At the same time He asks us to regard these [acts of goodness] as something usual, ordinary.
47. He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside,
He came to those men who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same words: “Follow thou me!” and sets us to the tasks which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience Who He is.
48. Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.
49. The interior joy we feel when we have done a good deed is the nourishment the soul requires.
50. Everyone must work to live, but the purpose of life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others. Only then have we ourselves become true human beings.
51. There are only three ways to teach a child. The first is by example, the second is by example, the third is by example.
52. Man has the lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end up destroying the earth.
53. The Full Measure of a man is not to be found in the man himself, but in the colors and textures that come alive in others because of him.
54. But merely accepting authoritarian truth, even if that truth has some virtue, does not bring skepticism to an end. To blindly accept a truth one has never reflected upon retards the advance of reason. Our world rots in deceit. . . . Just as a tree bears the same fruit year after year and at the same time fruit that is new each year, so must all permanently valuable ideas be continually created anew in thought. But our age pretends to make a sterile tree bear fruit by tying fruits of truth onto its branches.
55. As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins.
56. You must give time to your fellow men — even if it’s a little thing, do something for others — something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
57. Die Liebe stirbt meistens and den kleinen Fehlern, die man am Anfang so entzückend findet.
58. As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.
59. Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside.
60. Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.