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Albert Schweitzer Quotes

Albert Schweitzer Quotes

Albert Schweitzer was a renowned German-French philosopher, theologian, musician, and medical missionary. He was born on January 14, 1875, in Kaysersberg, a small town in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, then part of Germany.

Schweitzer grew up in a family of musicians and showed an early talent for music. He studied at the Strasbourg Conservatory and became an accomplished organist and musicologist, writing several books on the subject. He also earned a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Strasbourg and later a doctorate in theology at the University of Paris.

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In 1905, Schweitzer made a life-changing decision to become a medical missionary and travel to Africa to provide medical care to people in need. He studied medicine and received his degree in 1913, after which he established a hospital in Lambarene, in what is now Gabon. The hospital was staffed by Schweitzer and his wife, Helene, a nurse, and later grew to include more than 70 staff members, including doctors, nurses, and support staff.

Schweitzer’s work in Africa was widely recognized, and he became a global advocate for humanitarianism and the importance of respecting and preserving life. He wrote extensively on these subjects, including his famous book “The Philosophy of Civilization,” which argued that a reverence for life was necessary for a just and peaceful society.

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During World War I, Schweitzer and his wife were interned in France as German citizens, but they were released after a few months and returned to Africa to continue their work. During World War II, Schweitzer and his hospital were temporarily evacuated to Brazzaville, but they returned to Lambarene in 1946.

Schweitzer continued to work at the hospital until he was 90 years old, treating patients and training local healthcare workers. He died on September 4, 1965, at his home in Lambarene. He was a beloved figure, respected for his selflessness, his devotion to the African people, and his unwavering commitment to the ideals of peace and justice.

Here are some powerful quotes about humanitarianism and ethics from the mind of Schweitzer.

Famous Albert Schweitzer Quotes

1. “Man has become a superman … because he not only disposes of innate, physical forces, but because he is in command … of latent forces in nature and because he can put them to his service…. But the essential fact we must surely all feel in our hearts … is that we are becoming inhuman in propor …”

2. “You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who have of help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here, too.”

3. “Only those who respect the personality of others can be of real use to them.”

4. “One thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

One thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. - Albert Schweitzer

5. “No ray of sunlight is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith.”

6. “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 on it. A strength which becomes clearer and stronger through experiences of such obstacles is the only strength that can conquer them. Resistance is only a …”

7. “Kindness works simply and perseveringly; it produces no strained relations which prejudice its working; strained relations which already exist it relaxes. Mistrust and misunderstanding it puts to flight, and it strengthens itself by calling forth answering kindness. Hence it is the furthest reaching …”

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8. “Happiness? That’s nothing more than good health and a poor memory.”

9. “Not one of us knows what effect his life produces, and what he gives to others; that is hidden from us and must remain so, though we are often allowed to see some little fraction of it, so that we may not lose courage. The way in which power works is a mystery.”

10. “Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.”

11. “There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.”

12. “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”

13. “Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

14. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

15. “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”

16. “Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.”

17. “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.”

18. “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.”

19. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

20. “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.”

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21. “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.”

22. “We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.”

23. “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.”

24. “The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind.”

25. “In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.”

In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet. - Albert Schweitzer

26. “A man does not have to be an angel to be a saint.”

27. “Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile.”

28. “He who dofes not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.”

29. “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.”

30. “The tragedfy in a fman’s life is what dies inside of him while he lives.”

31. “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.”

31. “The greatest discovery of afny generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.”

32. “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.”

33. “Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”

34. “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”

35. “O heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that have breath: guard them from all evil and let them sleep in peace.”

36. “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.”

37. “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.”

38. “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

39.“Those who thank god much are the truly wealthy.”

40. “Do not lose heart, even if you must wait a bit before finding the right thing. Be prepared for disappointment also, but do not abandon the quest.”

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Motivational Albert Schweitzer Quotes About Life

41. “Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.”

42. “A good example has twice the value of good advice.”

43. “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.”

44. “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 will have sought and found how to serve.”

45. “If you own something you cannot give away, then you don’t own it, it owns you.”

If you own something you cannot give away, then you don't own it, it owns you. - Albert Schweitzer

46. “The path of awakening is not about becoming who you are. Rather it is about unbecoming who you are not.”

47. “At that point in life where your talent meets the needs of the world, that is where God wants you to be.”

48. “Happiness is the only thing that multiplies when you share it.”

49. “Let your life be your argument.”

50. “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”

51. “The true worth of a man is not to be found in man himself, but in the colours and textures that come alive in others.”

52. “An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight… the truly wise person is colorblind.”

53. “At 20 everyone has the face that God gave them, at 40 the face that life gave them, and at 60 the face they earned.”

54. “Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”

55. “Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life it is bad to damage and destroy life.”

56.  “Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality.”

57.  “A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.”

58. “Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.”

59. “The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.”

60. “Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose.”

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Albert Schweitzer Quotes On Gratitude

61. “To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted.”

62. “In gratitude for your good fortune, you must remember in return some sacrifice of your own life for another life.”

In gratitude for your good fortune, you must remember in return some sacrifice of your own life for another life. - Albert Schweitzer

63. “The greatest thing to give is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live.”

64. “We ought to all make an effort to act on our first thoughts and let our unspoken gratitude find expression.”

65. “Just as the wind is driven to spend its force in the big empty spaces so must the people who know the laws of the spirit go where we are most needed.”

66. “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.”

67. “This is the only sense in which Jesus thinks of the Kingdom as present. He does not ‘establish it.’ He only proclaims its coming. He exercises no ‘Messianic functions’, but waits, like others, for God to bring about the coming of the Kingdom by supernatural means.”

68. “The ‘Son of Man’ was buried in the ruins of the falling eschatological world; there remained alive only Jesus ‘the Man’.”

69. “Jesus was called to throw himself on the wheel of world history, so that, even though it crushed him, it might start to turn in the opposite direction.”

70. “Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not true religion or philosophy.”

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71. “Only through love can we obtain communion with God.”

72. “He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.”

73. “In order to make the Kingdom of God a practical reality, it was necessary for Him to dissociate it from all the forces of this world, and to bring morality and religion into the closest connexion.”

74. “Does my behavior in respect of love affect nothing? That is because there is not enough love in me.”

75. “Love is the only thing that increases twofold every time it is shared.”

76. “To think out in every implication the ethic of love for all creation… this is the difficult task which confronts our age.”

77. “Profound love demands a deep conception and out of this develops reverence for mystery of life. It brings us close to all beings, to the poorest and smallest as well as all others.”

78. “Only by means of reverence for life can we establish a spiritual and humane relationship with both people and all living creatures within our reach.”

79. “Don’t let your hearts grow numb. Stay alert. It is your soul which matters.”

80. “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.”

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Best Albert Schweitzer Quotes

81. “Just as white light consists of colored rays, so reverence for life contains all the components of ethics: love, kindliness, sympathy, empathy, peacefulness, and power to forgive.”

82. “Good is that which promotes life, evil is that which destroys life”

Good is that which promotes life, evil is that which destroys life

83. “You must not expect anything from others. It’s you, of yourself, of whom you must ask a lot. Only from oneself has one the right to ask everything and anything. This way it’s up to you – your own choices – what you get from others remains a present, a gift.”

84. “The three most important ways to lead people are:… by example… by example… by example.”

85. “I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics.”

86. “There can be no Kingdom of God in the world without the Kingdom of God in our hearts.”

87. “The interior joy we feel when we have done a good deed is the nourishment the soul requires.”

88. “The question of whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hope are optimistic.”

89. “The great enemy of morality is indifference.”

90. “The only way out of today’s misery is for people to become worthy of each other’s trust.”

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91. “Sincerity is the foundation of spiritual life.”

92. “My life is my argument.”

93. “By ethical conduct toward all creatures, we enter into a spiritual relationship with the universe.”

94. “By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world By practicing reverence for life we become good, deep, and alive.”

95. “Do not let Sunday be taken from you. If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.”

96. “By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound, and alive.”

97. “Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too.”

98. “The highest proof of the spirit is love. Love the eternal thing which can already on earth possess as it really is.”

99. “We all know how important love is, yet how often is it really emoted or exhibited? What so many sick people in this world suffer from – loneliness, boredom, and fear- can’t be cured with a pill.”

100. “If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life.”

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