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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1609
AUTHOR: Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)
QUOTATION: Physical misery is great everywhere out here [Africa]. Are we justified in shutting our eyes and ignoring it because our European newspapers tell us nothing about it? We civilised people have been spoilt. If any one of us is ill the doctor comes at once. Is an operation necessary, the door of some hospital or other opens to us immediately. But let every one reflect on the meaning of the fact that out here millions and millions live without help or hope of it. Every day thousands and thousands endure the most terrible sufferings, though medical science could avert them. Every day there prevails in many and many a far-off hut a despair which we could banish. Will each of my readers think what the last ten years of his family history would have been if they had been passed without medical or surgical help of any sort? It is time that we should wake from slumber and face our responsibilities!
ATTRIBUTION: ALBERT SCHWEITZER, On the Edge of the Primeval Forest, trans. C. T. Campion, p. 115 (1948, reprinted 1976).
SUBJECTS: Responsibility