Abu al-‘Ala’ al-Ma‘arri, a man of keen intellect and deep thought, is respected as one of the greatest Arab classical poets. When he was four years old, al- Ma‘arri was afflicted with small pox. The illness ultimately resulted in the loss of his vision. His unconventional wisdom and philosophy and his profound reasoning had led to a sudden surge in his reputation. He rapidly became a highly sought after poet and scholar. Al-Ma‘arri was also an example of compassion to all beings. He spoke out against the killing of animals and also the use of animal skins for clothing and other fashion accessories. Nearly a thousand years after his time on Earth, the spiritual verse from the sage-like poet and philosopher Al-Ma‘arri remains as relevant as the day it was written: “What shall it profit you, the vast amount of gold and grain you gather from the land, if you have laid no dominating hand on virtues that will balance your account!” Al-Ma‘arri is respected for his bold ideas, his independent spirit, and his unrelenting drive to uphold truth and justice for all beings.
2020-01-05 695 Tontonan
Dr. Albert Einstein was an internationally acclaimed physicist and Nobel Laureate. His scientific theories on relativity and his work on space-time helped charter the course of modern physics. In 1999, Time Magazine named him “The Person of the Century.” Albert Einstein was born to middle-class Jewish parents in 1879, in Ulm, Germany. 1905 became his Annus mirabilis, or “miracle year,” when Dr. Einstein published four papers in the Annalen der physik scientific journal. Those four history-making papers - detailing the theory of photoelectric effect, the Brownian motion, the theory on special relativity, and the mass-energy equivalence - revolutionized the field of modern physics forever. Dr. Albert Einstein’s 1905 photoelectric effect paper, which would later earn him the Nobel Prize in Physics, was indeed revolutionary. It is Einstein’s “Quantum Theory of Light” that founded modern-day quantum physics. This sealed Albert Einstein’s fame internationally as a leading physicist. Dr. Albert Einstein emphasized not only scientific and technological development, but also the importance of higher morality.
2020-02-22 1089 Tontonan
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” - Dr. Albert Einstein. In respecting the sanctity of all lives, throughout his existence, Dr. Albert Einstein believed in the ideals of vegetarianism. He wrote in a letter to Germany Vegetarian Watch-Tower on December 27, 1930: "…I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind." Dr. Einstein's respect for life naturally led him to be a humanitarian and advocate for social justice, freedom, and peace. With the onset of the atomic era, Dr. Einstein realized that nuclear weapons were a profound risk to humanity and could bring an end to civilization. During the last decade of his life, he was tireless in his efforts to create effective international cooperation to disarm nuclear weapons and to prevent wars.
2020-03-01 3173 Tontonan
In 1949, he was featured on the front cover of Time magazine, which dubbed him the “Greatest Man in the World.” Former prime minister of the UK, His Excellency Sir Winston Churchill called him “a genius of humanity.” In 1952, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Indeed, the Reverend Dr. Albert Schweitzer was a brilliant polymath whose personal philosophy revolved around what he called “Reverence for Life.” A vegetarian, theologian, musician, author, missionary, and medical doctor, he dedicated his life and his remarkable abilities to serve those in need and to speak up for peace. Little Dr. Schweitzer was eager to learn more about Lord Jesus Christ and asked to read the New Testament when he was just eight years old. Having observed the struggle for existence and the abuse of helpless animals by negligent humans, he was deeply touched by the commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” At night, he would pray: “O, heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that have breath; guard them from all evil, and let them sleep in peace.” When he was 21, Dr. Schweitzer resolved to devote his life to preaching, science, and music until the age of 30. He would take this time to accomplish what he hoped to in these fields while learning how he could be of service to others. The Reverend Dr. Albert Schweitzer began his theology and philosophy studies at the Kaiser Wilhelm University of Strasbourg in 1893. He obtained his doctorate in philosophy in 1899 at the University of Strasbourg, and received his licentiate in theology in 1900. He began his career as a preacher at St. Nicholas Church in Strasbourg, then served in several high-ranking administrative positions at the Theological College of St. Thomas. In 1906, he published a book “The Quest of the Historical Jesus,” which established him as a respected theological scholar. The later publication of “The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle” in 1931 reinforced this status and his great renown. …so let’s enjoy this precious recording of Dr. Albert Schweitzer practicing Bach at his pedal-piano in Lambaréné with his cat.
2020-08-02 582 Tontonan
As we learned in Part 1, the Reverend Dr. Albert Schweitzer and his wife, Helene Bresslau Schweitzer, established a hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon. The region had been struck by numerous tropical maladies, and the people were living in meager conditions with insufficient healthcare. During their first nine months, the Schweitzer's treated over 2,000 patients. While traveling by boat on the Ogooué River to visit a patient, a profound phrase occurred to Dr. Albert Schweitzer: “Reverence for Life.” This became Dr. Schweitzer's “unifying term for a concept of ethics.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer became a vegetarian and refused to kill any living thing, including insects. He said: “We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.” After going back to Europe and staying there for several years, Dr. Albert Schweitzer returned to Lambaréné in 1924 to rebuild the hospital on a new site. Treatment was always free of charge. The entire project was financed with the money Dr. Schweitzer earned himself by regularly giving benefit concerts and lectures on culture and ethics in Europe, as well as with donations that came to him from across the world. From the early 1950s onward, Dr. Schweitzer worked tirelessly to abolish nuclear weapons, adding his voice to the likes of fellow Nobel Laureate and vegetarian, Dr. Albert Einstein. In 1952, Dr. Albert Schweizer was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life.” Dr. Schweitzer used the Nobel Prize money of approximately US$33,000 to help build the much-needed leprosarium at Lambaréné for his 250 leprosy patients. The Reverend Albert Schweitzer left this world on September 4, 1965, at the age of 90. His daughter, Rhena, and his medical associates continued developing the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, modernizing the facilities with about 70 buildings, and attracting dedicated and talented medical staff from around the world.
2020-08-07 721 Tontonan