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Albert Schweitzer

by Soogyum from San Diego

Portrait of Albert Schweitzer (http://www.pittsburghschweitzer.org ())
Portrait of Albert Schweitzer (http://www.pittsburghschweitzer.org ())

It is widely debatable who is a hero in modern day. Some consider superheroes in comic book as their hero, some consider their role model as their heroes and some consider person who gave them inspiration as their hero. However, Albert Schweitzer is my hero. In January 14, 1875 Albert Schweitzer born in Kaysersberg, Germany. He was famous theologian, organist, philosopher, and physician in Europe. One day, Albert Schweitzer left his career as famous organist and theologian, He went on his way to Africa to practice humanitarianism. Albert Schweitzer is a modern day hero because he selfless,inspired people to voluntarily help others by initiating volunteer medical services and practiced humanitarianism.

Albert Schweitzer sitting front of organ (www.ahlborn-galanti.com ())
Albert Schweitzer sitting front of organ (www.ahlborn-galanti.com ())

Albert Schweitzer is a hero because he is selfless. He was famous philosopher, theologian and organist in Europe, because he was famous musician and intelligent young man, he was popular in European high society. According to "The humanism of Albert Schweitzer" by Maxine Negri, "At age 24, he received his doctorate in philosophy and obtained the post of preacher at the St. Nicholas Church in Strasbourg. The following year, he received his doctorate in theology...At age 26, he became the principal of the Theological College... Schweitzer was also hard at work on his music. He gave recitals and concerts throughout the capitals of Europe and was lionized by an admiring public...in those days, he was very fond of dancing and was popular with the ladies, young and old"(Negri). A lot of people may infer that Albert Schweitzer grew up in wealthy family. However Schweitzer grew up in big family under Lutheran pastor dad, they were never poor but not wealthy as well. His family was so big, Schweitzer had to leave his home and live with his great uncle to attend school. Selfless became Schweitzer's natural trait as he grow up. As living abundant life after succeed to be a organist, philosopher and theologian. Schweitzer felt something inside of his heart. "simmering beneath the surface of this successful and pleasurable life was a restlessness and yearning which would lead Schweitzer to a momentous decision - one that would drastically change the course of his life...Shortly after he turned 21, Schweitzer made up his mind that he would allow himself nine more years to selfishly enjoy his present life-style. After that, he would pay what he considered his "debt to humanity" by some direct, lifelong personal service. What it would be, he didn't yet know, but he was confident that he would find the answer"(Negri). Schweitzer decide he will leave all the achievements behind and devote his life to pay back to humanity. He could have lived comfortable life as a respected theologian and musician, but his own good wasn't his interest. He considered others first then him, and his selflessness is why he is my hero.

Schweitzerat a table with kids as they eat a meal (http://www.gettyimages.com ())
Schweitzerat a table with kids as they eat a meal (http://www.gettyimages.com ())

Albert Schweitzer is modern day hero because he is inspired a lot of people with his volunteer medical services. According to "Albert Schweitzer" by World Health, he left his comfortable life to start medical missionary/service in Africa. " At age 30 he left his academic career to study medicine. His wife, Helene Bresslau (whom he married in 1911), took up nursing so that the two might work side by side.In 1913, after completing their medical and nursing studies, Albert and Helene Schweitzer set off for French Equatorial Africa, which is now part of Gabon in West Africa. There, the Schweitzer's set up the Albert Schweitzer Hospital. Initially housed in an old chicken coop"(World of Health). His hospital at Africa was functioning with donations and money from Albert Schweitzer himself. His money was from his organ concert and records,his books and lectures. He went to Europe occasionally to collect money with his concert and lectures. following to "Albert Schweitzer" by World of Health, his hospital became large and even had clinic building itself, "Schweitzer was eventually able to build a large hospital and clinic, to which thousands of Africans came long distances for treatment"(World of Health). He had nothing when he first started, but he kept worked on his hospital with his own hands and money. Story about Schweitzer hospital became inspiration to people in modern society. It is not an exaggeration even if someone says Albert Schweitzer initiated volunteer medical services in modern days.

Schweitzer's journey to build a proper hospital in Africa can be great exemplar for his practice in humanitarianism. However his work on his texts also reveals natural humanitarianism inside of him. According to "The Philosophy of Civilization" by Albert Schweitzer, Schweitzer knew what are the most important factors to human and wrote it on the paper. "The suicide of civilization is in progress. Rationalism has been dismissed .... Our own age, having never taken the trouble to reflect, has arrived at the opinion that civilization consists primarily in scientific, technological, and artistic achievements, and that it can reach its goals without ethics, or with a minimum of them. Ethics he defines as: the maintaining of life at the highest point of development - of my own life and other life by devoting myself to it in help and love"(Schweitzer). Illustration of his life directly relates to what he said. He left his theological and artistic achievements behind and followed his own ethic, spreading the love. There is another excerpts from Albert Schweitzer' "The Philosophy of Civilization", "the yearning of the human mind to exceed its own human frailties, to rise above pettiness, envy, jealousy,to be courageous, noble, to be truly unselfish, to give of oneself without seeking glory or applause. Of truth, he writes:Certain truths originate in feelings, others in the mind. Those truths we derive from our emotions are of a moral kind-compassion, kindness, forgiveness, love of our neighbor"(Schweitzer). He viewed humanity can be closer to pure goods, and kindness, forgiveness and love as a human's virtue. Albert Schweitzer is my hero because he practiced humanitarianism in a various way.

Albert Schweitzer is my hero because his love to humanity was great enough to inspire people in the whole world.
 

Work Cited 
"Albert Schweitzer." World of Health. Gale, 2007. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.
Negri, Maxine. "The humanism of Albert Schweitzer." The Humanist Mar.-Apr. 1993 26+. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. 
Schweitzer, Albert. The Philosophy of Civilization. New York: Macmillan, 1949. Print.

Page created on 2/13/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 9/13/2018 5:58:45 PM

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Related Links

Nobelprize.org - Albert Schweitzer''s achievements