Monday, October 25, 2010

Schweitzer on service: "the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

"And when I answer such letters I add something else:  'Seek a humble sort of thing.'  Our hearts often look for something very big, something wanting a lot of sacrifice, and often our heart does not see the humble things.  At first you must learn to do the humble things and often they are the most difficult to do.  In those humble things, be busy about helping someone who has need of you.  You see somebody alonetry and be with him, try to give him some of the hours which you might take for yourself and in that way learn to serve:  and then only will you begin to find true happiness.  I don't know what your destiny will be.  Some of you will perhaps occupy remarkable positions.  Perhaps some of you will become famous by your pens, or as artists.  But I know one thing:  the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

Albert Schweitzer, in a speech to the students of Silcoates School, Wakefield (along with "a number of boys and girls from Ackworth School"), on "The Meaning of Ideals in Life," at approximately 3:40 p.m. on 3 December 1935.  "Visit of Dr. Albert Schweitzer" (as translated from the French of the address by Dr. Schweitzer's interpreter), The Silcoatian, New Series No. 25 (December, 1935):  784-785 (781-786 with 771-772 ("Things in General")).  I have mounted the scan of the entire address so kindly supplied by Louise Leach, Administrative Assistant to the Silcoates School Foundation, on 3 November 2010, with her permission, granted on 7 February 2011.

3 comments:

flagman said...

Thanks very much for posting this. I've been looking for the source of that quote for quite some time. I'd be interested to know anything else he said during the speech. Would Silcoates School allow you to post the entire talk?

Steve Perisho said...

I don't have permission to post it, but didn't ask. Write me at sperisho at spu dot edu.

Steve Perisho said...

Posted with permission now at http://myhome.spu.edu/sperisho/SchweitzerInTheSilcoatian.pdf (above).