Albert Schweitzer Quotes

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


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


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.


Animal protection is education to the humanity.


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.


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.


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


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.


Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by custom


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.


The mistake made by all previous systems of ethics has been the failure to recognize that life as such is the mysterious value with which they have to deal. All spiritual life meets us within natural life. Reverence for life, therefore, is applied to natural life and spiritual life alike. In the parable of Jesus, the shepherd saves not merely the soul of the lost sheep but the whole animal. The stronger the reverence for natural life, the stronger grows also that for spiritual life.


I believe that I possess this value: to serve Jesus. I am less at peace than if my goal would be to attain a professorship and a good life, but I live. And that gives me the tremendous feeling of happiness, as if one would hear music. One feels uprooted, because one asks, what lies ahead, what decisions should I make-but more alive, happier than those anchored in life. To drift with released anchor.


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.


But the others, those who tried to bring Jesus to life at the call of love, found it a cruel task to be honest. The critical study of the life of Jesus has been for theology a school of honesty. The world had never seen before, and will never see again, a struggle for truth so full of pain and renunciation as that of which the Lives of Jesus of the last hundred years contain the cryptic record.


The study of the Life of Jesus has had a curious history. It set out in quest of the historical Jesus, believing that when it had found Him it could bring Him straight into our time as a Teacher and Saviour. … But He does not stay; He passes by our time and returns to His own… He returned to His own time, not owing to the application of any historical ingenuity, but by the same inevitable necessity by which the liberated pendulum returns to its original position.


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.


Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.


Those who thank 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, whatever the experience.


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