LITERATURE: Albert Schweitzer: All Men are Brothers

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A long time ago the school Upper Secondary School English syllabus required all students to read one extra English literature book per year. I remember particularly one book for Form Four which was called “All Men are Brothers” by Albert Schweitzer.

The book took us from Europe to the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (the Congo). We learned in a very relaxed manner as teacher and students covered each page fairly thoroughly each week. We literally walked through the jungles, the diseases and the working conditions of the nurses, doctors and Dr. Schweitzer himself. But most important of all we were so impressed by the pipe organ which he installed in the middle of the Congo jungles!!

Our English teacher even played some music Dr. Albert Schweitzer had played to his patients in his hospital. It was due to him that when later I became a teacher I also used a lot of taped music to inspire my students.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s wisdom from his various writings continues to inspire us. Many of us continue to live according to his philosophy after being impacted by his thoughts and writings.

Here is an extract from one of his writings:

“It is not enough merely to exist…….You must do something more. Seek always to do something good, somewhere.

Every man has to seek in his own way to make his own self more noble and to realize his own true worth.

You must give some time to your fellowmen. Even if it is a little thing, do something for those who have need of a man’s help, something for which you get no pay but the pirivilege of doing it.

For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too”.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer also wrote “Reverence for Life” which won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.

He died at the age of 90 in 1965 in his own beloved Lambarene Hospital.

by Changyi, Agape Grace Methodist Preaching Centre, Miri
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