Photo of Albert Schweitzer, theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician

Albert Schweitzer Quotations

Albert Schweitzer, humanitarian, organist, JS Bach scholar, Lutheran pastor and African missionary, who won the 1952 Nobel Peace prize for founding and running the Lambarene Hospital in Gabon, west central Africa, most likely rekindled the spirit of many throughout his lifetime. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “reverence for life” and ‘The Problem of Peace’ lecture is considered one of the best speeches ever given. In alliance with Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell, he worked from 1952 until his death against the construction, testing and use of nuclear weapons.

Image: Photo of Albert Schweitzer, theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician


“A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up. 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.”

“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.”

“By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive.”

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”

“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 won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1955 for his philosophy of ‘reverence for life’.

“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.”

“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.”

“Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside.”“Grow into your ideals so that life cannot rob you of them.”

– Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

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Richard J. Chandler, BA, MA Bachelor of Arts-Music & Master of Arts-Psychology