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Talk:Albert Schweitzer

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  • A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.
  • An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight... The truly wise person is color-blind.
  • As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins.
  • As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.
  • 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.
  • Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.
  • Day by day we should weigh what we have granted to the spirit of the world against what we have denied to the spirit of Jesus, in thought and especially in deed.
  • Do not let Sunday be taken from you — If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.
  • Do something for somebody every day for which you do not get paid.
  • Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.
  • Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.
  • Every man has to seek in his own way to make his own self more noble and to realize his own true worth.
  • Everything deep is also simple and can be reproduced simply as long as its reference to the whole truth is maintained. But what matters is not what is witty but what is true.
  • Example is leadership.
  • Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It's the only thing.
  • From naïve simplicity we arrive at more profound simplicity.
  • Grow into your ideals so that life cannot rob you of them.
  • Happiness? That's nothing more than health and a poor memory.
    • Variant: Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.
  • 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.
    • Variant: Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.
  • It is a man's sympathy with all creatures that truly makes him a man. Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man himself will not find peace.
    • Variant: It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man.
  • It is not enough merely to exist. It's not enough to say, 'I'm earning enough to support my family. I do my work well. I'm a good father, husband, churchgoer.' That's all very well. But you must do something more. Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who need 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.
  • Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life — it is bad to damage and destroy life.
  • Let no one regard as light the burden of his responsibility. While so much ill-treatment of animals goes on, while the moans of thirsty animals in railway trucks sound unheard, while so much brutality prevails in our slaughterhouses... we all bear guilt. Everything that lives has value as a living thing, as one of the manifestations of the mystery that is life.
  • Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.
  • Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile.
  • 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.
  • My life is my argument.
  • One does not have to be an angel in order to be saint.
    • Variant: A man does not have to be an angel in order to be saint.
  • One truth stands firm. All that happens in world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history.
  • One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.
  • Reverence for life affords me my fundamental principle of morality.
  • Serious illness doesn't bother me for long because I am too inhospitable a host.
  • Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
  • The first step in the evolution of ethics is an enlargement of the sense of solidarity with other human beings.
    • Variant: The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.
  • The future of civilization depends on our overcoming the meaninglessness and hopelessness that characterizes the thoughts of men today.
  • The only important thing in life are the traces of love that we leave behind when we have to leave unasked and say farewell.
  • The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.
  • The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil.
  • The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.
  • 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.
  • The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character.
  • There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.
  • There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.
  • Therefore search and see if there is not some place where you may invest your humanity.
  • This new form of activity medicine I could not represent to myself as talking about the religion of love, but only as an actual putting it into practice.
  • To affirm life is to deepen, to make more inward, and to exalt the will to live.
  • 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.
  • Truth has not special time of its own. Its hour is now — always and indeed then most truly when it seems unsuitable to actual circumstances.
  • We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.
  • We cannot possibly let ourselves get frozen into regarding everyone we do not know as an absolute stranger.
  • Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him.
  • Whoever is spared personal pain must feel himself called to help in diminishing the pain of others. We must all carry our share of the misery which lies upon the world.