142+ Best Albert Schweitzer Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Albert Schweitzer OM was an Alsatian polymath. He was a theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. In 1952 the Nobel peace prize was awarded to him for his work at a hospital in tropical Africa. Inspirational Albert Schweitzer quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

If you’re searching for life quotes and sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of powerful Vance Havner quotes, inspirational John Wesley quotes, and greatest Jonathan Edwards quotes.

Most Famous Albert Schweitzer Quotes

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. – Albert Schweitzer

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. – Albert Schweitzer

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

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives. – Albert Schweitzer

Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside. – Albert Schweitzer

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

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. – Albert Schweitzer

The interior joy we feel when we have done a good deed is the nourishment the soul requires. – Albert Schweitzer

Open your eyes and look for some man, or some work for the sake of men, which needs a little time, a little friendship, a little sympathy, a little sociability, a little human toil….It is needed in every nook and corner. Therefore, search and see if there is not some place where you may invest your humanity. – Albert Schweitzer

To the man who is truly ethical all life is sacred, including that which from the human point of view seems lower in the scale. He makes distinctions only as each case comes before him, and under the pressure of necessity, as, for example, when it falls to him to decide which of two lives he must sacrifice in order to preserve the other. But all through this series of decisions he is conscious of acting on subjective grounds and arbitrarily and knows that he bears the responsibility for the life which is sacrificed. – Albert Schweitzer

I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live. – Albert Schweitzer

To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kindness that stands 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. – Albert Schweitzer

All the kindness which a man puts out into the world works on the heart and thoughts of mankind. – Albert Schweitzer

The destiny of man is to be more and more human. – Albert Schweitzer

We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. – Albert Schweitzer

The great enemy of morality is indifference. – Albert Schweitzer

Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth. – Albert Schweitzer

You know of the disease in Central Africa called sleeping sickness. . . . There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul. Its most dangerous aspect is that one is unaware of its coming. That is why you have to be careful. As soon as you notice the slightest sign of indifference, the moment you become aware of the loss of a certain seriousness, of longing, of enthusiasm and zest, take it as a warning. You should realize your soul suffers if you live superficially. – Albert Schweitzer

Sincerity is the foundation of the spiritual life. – Albert Schweitzer

I still remain convinced that truth, love, peaceableness, meekness, and kindness are the violence which can master all other violence. The world will be theirs as soon as ever a sufficient number of people with purity of heart, with strength, and with perseverance think and live out the thoughts of love and truth, of meekness and peaceableness. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

The disastrous feature of our civilization is that it is far more developed materially than spiritually. Its balance is disturbed. – Albert Schweitzer

My life is my argument. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

Because I have confidence in the power of truth and in the spirit, I believe in the future of mankind. Affirmation of the world and of life contains within itself an optimistic willing and hoping which can never be lost. It is, therefore, never afraid to face the dismal reality and to see it as it really is. – Albert Schweitzer

Do not let Sunday be taken from you. If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan. – Albert Schweitzer

Man has become a superman … because he not only disposes oinnate, physical forces, but because he is in command … olatent 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 proportion as we become supermen. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

The highest knowledge is to know that we are surrounded by mystery. Neither knowledge nor hope for the future can be the pivot of our life or determine its direction. It is intended to be solely determined by our allowing ourselves to be gripped by the ethical God, who reveals Himself in us, and by our yielding our will to His. – Albert Schweitzer

If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer

There can be no Kingdom of God in the world without the Kingdom of God in our hearts. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

There is no higher religion than human service. – Albert Schweitzer

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

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

For us the great men are not those who solved the problems, but those whodiscovered them. – Albert Schweitzer

Nature compels us to recognize the fact of mutual dependence, each life necessarily helping the other lives who are linked to it. In the very fibers of our being, we bear within ourselves the fact of the solidarity of life. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

Let your life be your argument. – Albert Schweitzer

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory. – Albert Schweitzer

Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier. – Albert Schweitzer

An idea is, in the end, always stronger than circumstances. – Albert Schweitzer

The result of the voyage does not depend on the speed of the ship, but on whether or not it keeps a true course. – Albert Schweitzer

Do something good and someone might imitate it. – Albert Schweitzer

The elemental fact, present in our consciousness every moment of our existence, is: I am life that wills to live, in the midst of life that wills to live…. The essence of the humane spirit is: Preserve life, promote life, help life to achieve its highest destiny. The essence of Evil is: Destroy life, harm life, hamper the development of life – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting, and enhancing life and that to destroy, harm, or to hinder life is evil. Affirmation of the world – that is affirmation of the will to live, which appears in phenomenal forms all around me – is only possible for me in that I give myself out for other life. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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

At that point in life where your talent meets the needs of the world, that is where God wants you to be. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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 – Albert Schweitzer

The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind. – Albert Schweitzer

A good example has twice the value of good advice – Albert Schweitzer

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

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

We must never allow the voice of humanity within us to be silenced. It is humanity’s sympathy with all creatures that first makes us truly human. – Albert Schweitzer

Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy. – Albert Schweitzer

The path of awakening is not about becoming who you are. Rather it is about unbecoming who you are not. – Albert Schweitzer

Whatever you have received more than others-in health, in talents, in ability, in success, in a pleasant childhood, in harmonious conditions of home life-all this you must not take to yourself as a matter of course. In gratitude for your good fortune, you must remember in return some sacrifice of your own life for another life. – Albert Schweitzer

The witch doctor succeeds for the same reason all the rest of us succeed. Each patient carries his or her own doctor inside him or her. They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work. – Albert Schweitzer

The three most important ways to lead people are:… by example… by example… by example. – Albert Schweitzer

When man learns to respect even the smallest being of creation…nobody has to teach him to love his fellow man. Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid. – Albert Schweitzer

God much are the truly wealthy. So our inner happiness depends not on what we experience but on the degree of our gratitude to God, Gratitude — the Secret of Life. – Albert Schweitzer

Happiness is the only thing that multiplies when you share it. – Albert Schweitzer

Man can hardly even recognize the devils of his own creation. – Albert Schweitzer

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace. – Albert Schweitzer

We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness. – Albert Schweitzer

Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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

Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight. – Albert Schweitzer

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. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. – Albert Schweitzer

A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives. – Albert Schweitzer

Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind. – Albert Schweitzer

Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life. – Albert Schweitzer

Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose. – Albert Schweitzer

Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life it is bad to damage and destroy life. – Albert Schweitzer

The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings. – Albert Schweitzer

One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

We cannot possibly let ourselves get frozen into regarding everyone we do not know as an absolute stranger. – Albert Schweitzer

By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive. – Albert Schweitzer

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 waste of strength. – Albert Schweitzer

Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

A man does not have to be an angel in order to be saint. – Albert Schweitzer

If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality. – Albert Schweitzer

Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now – always. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

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

Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him. – Albert Schweitzer

The African is my brother but he is my younger brother by several centuries. – Albert Schweitzer

The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

I wanted to be a doctor that I might be able to work without having to talk because for years I had been giving myself out in words. – Albert Schweitzer

The highest proof of the spirit is love. Love the eternal thing which can already on earth possess as it really is. – Albert Schweitzer

Serious illness doesn’t bother me for long because I am too inhospitable a host. – Albert Schweitzer

The great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up. – Albert Schweitzer

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. – Albert Schweitzer

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up. – Albert Schweitzer

There are no heroes of action: only heroes of renunciation and suffering – Out of My Life and Thoughts. – Albert Schweitzer

The only progress that knowledge allows is in enabling us to describe more and more in detail the world we see and its evolution. What matters in a world-view is to grasp the meaning and purpose of everything, and that we cannot do. – Albert Schweitzer

We are compelled by the commandment of love contained in our hearts and thought, and proclaimed by Jesus, to give rein to our natural sympathy for animals. We are also compelled to help them and spare them suffering. – Albert Schweitzer

All art speaks in signs and symbols. No one can explain how it happens that the artist can waken to life in us the existence that he has seen and lives through. No artistic speech is the adequate expression of what it represents; its vital force comes from what is unspoken in it. – Albert Schweitzer

Your life is something opaque, not transparent, as long as you look at it in an ordinary human way. But if you hold it up against the light of God’s goodness, it shines and turns transparent, radiant and bright. And then you ask yourself in amazement: Is this really my own life I see before me? – Albert Schweitzer

What does Reverence for Life say abut the relations between [humanity] and the animal world? Whenever I injury any kind of life I must be quite certain that it is necessary. I must never go beyond the unavoidable, not even in apparently insignificant things. The farmer who has mowed down a thousand flowers in his meadow in order to feed his cows must be careful on his way home not to strike the head off a single flower by the side of the road in idle amusement, for he thereby infringes on the law of life without being under the pressure of necessity. – Albert Schweitzer

Late upon the third day, at the very moment when, at sunset . . . there flashed upon my mind, unforeseen and unsought, the phrase ‘Reverence for Life’. – Albert Schweitzer

The gratitude ascending from man to God is the supreme transaction between heaven and earth. – Albert Schweitzer

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 and the most effective of all forces. – Albert Schweitzer

Our degeneration, when it is traced back to its origin in our view of the world really consists in the fact that true optimism has vanished unperceived from our midst. – Albert Schweitzer

Every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary. – Albert Schweitzer

We ought all to make an effort to act on our first thoughts and let our unspoken gratitude find expression. Then there will be more sunshine in the world, and more power to work for what is good. – Albert Schweitzer

The stronger the reverence for natural life, the stronger grows also that for spiritual life. – Albert Schweitzer

What the activity of this disposition of ours means in the evolution of the world, we do not know. Nor can we regulate this activity from outside; we must leave entirely to each individual its shaping and its extension. From every point of view, then, world- and life-affirmation and ethics are non-rational, and we must have the courage to admit it. – Albert Schweitzer

When we observe contemporary society one thing strikes us. We debate but make no progress. Why? Because as peoples we do not yet trust each other. – Albert Schweitzer

We cannot abdicate our conscience to an organization, nor to a government. – Albert Schweitzer

We are united with all life that is in nature. Man can no longer live his life for himself alone. – Albert Schweitzer

The greatest living person in the world is some individual who at this very moment has gone in love to help another. – Albert Schweitzer

The most difficult thing I have ever had to do is follow the guidance I prayed for. – Albert Schweitzer

Only when an ideal of peace is born in the minds of the peoples will the institutions set up to maintain this peace effectively fulfill the function expected of them. – Albert Schweitzer

Don’t stop to ask whether the animal or plant you meet deserves your sympathy, or how much it feels, or even whether it can feel at all: respect it and consider all life sacred. – Albert Schweitzer

Rational thinking which is free from assumptions ends therefore in mysticism. To relate oneself in the spirit of reverence for life to the multiform manifestations of the will-to-live which together constitute the world is ethical mysticism. All profound world-view is mysticism, the essence of which is just this: that out of my unsophisticated and naïve existence in the world there comes, as a result of thought about self and the world, spiritual self-devotion to the mysterious infinite Will which is continuously manifested in the universe. – Albert Schweitzer

It is not enough to merely exist. It’s not enough to say, ‘I’m earning enough to live and support my family. I do my work well. I’m a good parent.’ That’s all very well. But you must do something more. – Albert Schweitzer

The thinking man must oppose all cruelties no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo. – Albert Schweitzer

For those who sincerely seek the truth should not fear the outcome. – Albert Schweitzer

Affirmation of the world, which means affirmation of the will-to-live that manifests itself around me, is only possible if I devote myself to other life. – Albert Schweitzer

Awakening of Western thought will not be complete until that thought steps outside itself and comes to an understanding with the search for a worldview as this manifests itself in the thought of mankind as a whole. – Albert Schweitzer

I used to suffer particularly because the poor animals must endure so much pain and want. The sight of an old, limping horse being dragged along by one man while another man struck him with a stick, he was being driven to the Colmar slaughterhouse – haunted me for weeks. – Albert Schweitzer

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.