Since I wrote my last post in which I expressed grave concern for the moral compass of our current administration, and indeed, our American culture, I returned to my own personal champion of an ethical basis for living: Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
Since age 12 when I discovered a short biography of Schweitzer (All Men Are My Brothers by Charlie May Simon, 1956), I’ve read and reread many Schweitzer writings about Reverence for Life, which the famous doctor, religious scholar and philosopher identified as the ethical basis for living.
Only by serving every kind of life do I enter into the service of that Creative Will whence all life emanates. ~ Albert Schweitzer, in “The Ethics for Reverence for Life” (1936)
For Schweitzer, this manifests through the striving of individuals and society to achieve the perfection of the world and humankind through the ethic of reverence for all life.
He was pragmatic about it: he wrote that thinking or writing about it doesn’t count: you have to act on it. He did so by stopping mid-career to attend medical school, and then moved to a remote jungle in Africa to serve people suffering from leprosy.
In my research I came upon the Schweitzer Fellowship which is providing the means for young leaders to emulate Schweitzer and take up the torch of that grand purpose. It is gratifying to learn how this work is unfolding around the world but how there are now 14 chapters across the U.S. where Fellows seek to empower people to create health and wellness in their family and community
Out of My Life and Thought – Autobiography
The Ethical Mysticism of Albert Schweitzer by Henry Clark
Albert Schweitzer on Prime Video Amazon an excellent new film (2009) about the man and his work; his human flaws and his genius; Barbara Hersey portrays Mrs. Schweitzer showing a much greater role in her husband’s success than in previous films.