Dr. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

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

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…”

“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”

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

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

“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.”

“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.”

“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.”

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

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

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

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

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

“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.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

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

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

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”

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

“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.”

“By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive. Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and accept as something precious what comes back to you from them. 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.”

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

“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.”

“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”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Soldiers’ graves are the greatest preachers of peace.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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. –”

“As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins.”

“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.”

“To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.”

“Who shall enumerate the many ways in which that costly piece of fixed capital, a human being , may be employed! More of him is wanted everywhere! Hunt, then, for some situation in which your humanity may be used.”

“The fundamental rights of [humanity] are, first: the right of habitation; second, the right to move freely; third, the right to the soil and subsoil, and to the use of it; fourth, the right of freedom of labor and of exchange; fifth, the right to justice; sixth, the right to live within a natural national organization; and seventh, the right to education.”

“What really matters is that we should all of us realize that we are guilty of inhumanity. The horror of this realization should shake us out of our lethargy so that we can direct our hopes and our intentions to the coming of an era in which war will have no place.”

“It’s not enough merely to exist. Every man has to seek in his own way to make his own self more noble and to realize his own true worth.”

“The doctor of the future will be oneself.”

“The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil.”

“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.”

“As we understand life in ourselves, we want to understand life in the universe. in order to enter into harmony with it.”

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

“Man has the lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end up destroying the earth.”

“To the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic.”

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

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