These Albert Schweitzer quotes highlight his thoughts on success and happiness, love and kindness, ethics and morality, and much more.
Albert Schweitzer was a man of many talents and passions, and yet you might still wonder what he is known for. Schweitzer’s knowledge base was so broad that he is officially known as an Alsatian polymath.
‘Alsatian’ is a cultural region in Eastern France that has a blend of Germanic and French influence. ‘Polymath’ refers to an individual who has a vast knowledge in many subject areas, and often uses their complex knowledge base to solve problems.
Schweitzer definitely fits the bill as he was a: theologian, organist, musicologist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. This explains why these Albert Schweitzer quotes seem all around the board, with quotes on success and happiness, love and kindness, ethics and morality, and a reverence for life.
Alber Schweitzer didn’t just talk about how important life was and encourage people to lead by example. His actions backed up his words as he lived a life of service and helping others.
Schweitzer won the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life.” The prize money at the time was $33,000 and he used it to set up a leprosy colony in Lambaréné. While he is most known for his philosophy and Nobel Prize-winning work, his musical talents should not be ignored.
Keep reading through these Albert Schweitzer quotes to learn more about his life and philosophy.
Don’t forget to also check out these Benoit Mandelbrot quotes from the father of fractals.
Albert Schweitzer quotes and sayings about success, happiness, and love
1. “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
2. “Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” ― Albert Schweitzer
3. “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
4. “Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.” ― Albert Schweitzer
5. “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
6. “Happiness is the only thing that multiplies when you share it.” ― Albert Schweitzer
7. “A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.” ― Albert Schweitzer
8. “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
9. “If you love something so much, let it go. If it comes back it was meant to be; if it doesn’t it never was.” ― Albert Schweitzer
10. “One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.” ― Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer quotes about gratitude, kindness, and compassion
11. “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
12. “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
13. “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” ― Albert Schweitzer
14. “The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.” ― Albert Schweitzer
15. “Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” ― Albert Schweitzer
16. “As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious thought begins.” ― Albert Schweitzer
17. “A man does not have to be an angel to be a saint.” ― Albert Schweitzer
18. “The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.” ― Albert Schweitzer
19. “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
20. “Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose.” ― Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer quotes that explain ethics and morality
21. “The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.” ― Albert Schweitzer
22. “Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.” ― Albert Schweitzer
23. “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
24. “Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality.” ― Albert Schweitzer
25. “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
26. “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.” ― Albert Schweitzer
27. “The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; but to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies.” ― Albert Schweitzer
28. “This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.” ― Albert Schweitzer
29. “The interior joy we feel when we have done a good deed is the nourishment the soul requires.” ― Albert Schweitzer
30. “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
Albert Schweitzer quotes about reverence for life and life in general
31. “The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.” ― Albert Schweitzer
32. “My life is my argument.” ― Albert Schweitzer
33. “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
34. “If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life.” ― Albert Schweitzer
35. “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
36. “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
37. “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer
38. “Man can no longer live for himself alone. We must realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe.” ― Albert Schweitzer
39. “By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound, and alive.” ― Albert Schweitzer
40. “I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live.” ― Albert Schweitzer
Wise Albert Schweitzer quotes about leading by example and other advice
41. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ― Albert Schweitzer
42. “There are only three ways to teach a child. The first is by example, the second is by example, the third is by example.” ― Albert Schweitzer
43. “Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” ― Albert Schweitzer
44. “Example is leadership.” ― Albert Schweitzer
45. “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.” ― Albert Schweitzer
46. “The doctor of the future will be oneself.” ― Albert Schweitzer
47. “Let us rejoice in the truth, wherever we find its lamp burning.” ― Albert Schweitzer
48. “Arguing from facts never wins a definitive victory against skillfully presented opinion.” ― Albert Schweitzer
49. “Do something for somebody every day for which you do not get paid.” ― Albert Schweitzer
50. “Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now – always.” ― Albert Schweitzer
What did you learn from these Albert Schweitzer quotes?
Schweitzer was a renowned musical scholar and organist. He also dedicated his time to rescuing, restoring, and studying historic pipe organs. He employed his theological background when interpreting the use of pictorial and symbolical representation in J. S. Bach’s religious music.
Schweitzer expressed his ideas on the symbolism and significance of Bach’s music in his study J. S. Bach: Le Musicien-Poète, which was written in French and published in 1905, making it Schweitzer’s final task.
Throughout his life, Schweitzer had been a student and a teacher, a musicologist and Bach fan, a doctor and a hospital creator, and even a deacon of a church. He had also authored books and gone on medical missionary trips to Africa.
There are several foundations and awards named after or inspired by his life’s work. He accomplished so much in a single lifetime that it is almost hard to fathom how one person can travel so many paths.
We might view it as successful, by the sheer number of personal goals he must have met. However, Albert Schweitzer himself would say “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Albert Schweitzer quotes and sayings? Do one thing that makes you happy today, and let us know how it went in the comment section below!