Albert Schweitzer on saving one's life on the job

Albert Schweitzer on saving one's life on the job.jpg

The other day I was flipping through Albert Schweitzer’s Out of My Life and Thought, looking for something, and my eyes landed here:

"The hidden forces of goodness are alive in those who serve humanity as a secondary pursuit, those who cannot devote their full life to it. The lot of most people is to have a job, to earn their living, and to assume for themselves a place in society through some kind of nonfulfilling labor. They can give little or nothing of their human qualities. The problems arising from progressive specialization and mechanization of labor can only be partly resolved through the concessions society is willing to make in its economic planning. It is always essential that that the individuals themselves not suffer their fate passively, but expend all their energies in affirming their own humanity through some spiritual engagement, even if the conditions are unfavorable.

One can save one’s life as a human being, along with one’s professional existence, if one seizes every opportunity, however unassuming, to act humanly toward those who need another human being. In this way we serve both the spiritual and the good. Nothing can keep us from this second job of direct human service. So many opportunities are missed because we let them pass by."

This passage isn't what I was looking for but I was glad to find it anyway. That last paragraph is so powerful and so true.

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[Photo: Taken during a recent trip to NYC; from which corner, I can’t remember.]