Oh… if I still ate cake…..
I would whip up a larger German Chocolate Cake, and spread it thick with German Chocolate Icing. Betty-Crocker-Crazy-Good. My very favorite.
But, I wouldn’t do it because I am hungry for cake. Nope. I would do it… because today is one of my favorite guy’s birthdays….. Albert Schweitzer.
I wish he were still around today… I would love to talk with him…. and maybe even do an interview for 368. It might go something like this…..
Polly Kronenberger: Good evening Dr. Schweitzer. Thank you for taking this time with me here.
Albert Schweitzer: Your quite welcome Ms. Kronenberger. I don’t much care for interviews… but…. If I can call you Polly, you can call me Al.
PK: It is a deal Al.
PK: Al, they have said your greatest work is “The Reverence for Life”…. but you did SO much. Do you have any words that might summarize your thoughts….
AS: “Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose”
PK: So is that what it means to be ethical?
AS: “A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”
PK: Amazing advice. Do you think that putting forth our energy in this way would ever lead to a world filled with peace?
AS: “Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
PK: I’m getting pretty heavy here…. can we switch gears a bit? You know… have a little fun with this?
AS: “Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile.”
PK: You calling me an imbecile?
AS: Well…… if the shoe fits…..
PK: OK… how about politics. What do you think about the current Presidential Race which is gearing up in the United States? Are the candidate’s speeches and debates going to influence the voters?
AS: “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it’s the only thing”
PK: So who would make a good President? Which one of them has the right focus…. and direction?
AS: “The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.”
PK: If only. I think most of these guys are in it for power…. and money. How would you advise them?
AS: “Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid.”
PK: We all should. Everyday.
OK Al. Another turn… you had a cutting edge mind in science. What do you think of today’s technology and constant exposure to electronic gadgetry and stimulus?
AS: “We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness” “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 have sought and found how to serve”
PK: Well, I just put my iPhone and iPad and iHead in the trash…. Well… really… I just turned them off for a minute. Because truly, I think people have quit appreciating the world around us…?
AS: “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.”
PK: And people… people are beautiful too.. right?
AS: “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.”
PK: Al, you and the other Albert are my favorites. Thanks for sharing your time here tonight. Any parting thoughts?
AS: “Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”
PK: Thank you sir.
AS: My pleasure. Can I have a piece of that cake now?
Albert Schweitzer. Yep. I like this guy. Al was born on this day in 1875. He lived to be 90… and died the year after I was born. I think I would have liked to have met him. And interview him… or just have strudel together… on a sidewalk cafe’.
He was a German theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary. He was born in Kaysersberg in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of the German Empire.
Know for a lot of things… he won the Nobel Prize in 1952. He thought his greatest work was the idea of Reverence for Life (“Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben”). He proposed that Western civilization was decaying because it had abandoned affirmation of (and respect for) life as its ethical foundation.
“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” – Albert Schweitzer