Reverence for Life: All Forms

In 1952,
as Mother Teresa tottered towards the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Albert Schweitzer
was proudly accepting his.

He could
have lived luxuriously in his native Germany. A university lecturer, a
musician, a writer, a speaker and an organist were just a few of his list of
accomplishments. Despite his successes, he surrendered all to study
medicine.   On completion, he volunteered
to start a hospital in Gabon, in the only available building, an old chicken

An Early Version of Lambarene Hospital


An Early Version of the Lambarene Hospital

Against the odds, in less than a month, Schweitzer had treated over two thousand patients with diseases ranging from Yaws to Yellow Fever. At the same time, he wrote manuscripts, answered letters, solicited donations, directed nurses and managed the daily hospital rounds. 

A Patient with Yaws

His view of
life was also liberal. He acknowledged that we live under a law of necessity
which compels killing and injury to sustain life. However, killing and injury
should be the consequence of necessity not thoughtless acts of violence against
unsuspecting animals.


Schweitzer with Leone: it devoured his manuscript

reckoned, the purpose of life is to serve humanity. To satisfy that inner cry
for fulfilment he surrendered all for life in a primeval African jungle. One of
his guiding principles: Do something for
somebody every day for which you do not get paid.


Schweitzer with Feline Friend: He Loved All Life Forms
He would switch his writing arm rather than disturb his friend.

Excerpted from The Eloquence of Effort :