Thou shalt not kill


He's a source of many stories about kindness to animals, and here's another fine story from Albert Schweitzers childhood from when he was 9 years old. This extract (which is his own words) comes from the 1957 TV documentary on Albert Schwitzer. This story has a real childhood innocence about it, but  the remarkable thing about it is to think he was only 9 years old when he decided to live by this principle and did so for the rest of his life.

"An experience I had during these years made a lasting impression on me. A neighbour son and I had made sling shots from rubber bands. One Sunday morning he said to me: "Come on, let's squat in the hills and shoot birds". This seemed a horrible idea, but I didn't dare object from fear of being laughed at. The birds were singing sweetly in the morning sunshine so unafraid of us. Crouching like an indian, my friend put a stone in his sling shot and took aim. Obeying his look of command I did the same with acute pain of conscience. At that moment the sound of church bells began to mingle with the sunshine and the birds song. To me... it was a voice from heaven. I frigthened away the birds to protect them from my friends shot and ran home. Ever since, when morning bells ring out in the morning sunshine I gratefully remember those bells for they rang into my heart the commandment: Thou shalt not kill."

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Anna E said…
Great that you are "back" on the blog!!
Ooh, this story causes ripples down the spine! It appears to me, that the sound of the church bells came like a salvation from God, to the birds. And to Albert.
This morning at 6 AM, as I was eating breakfast, I was gazing out the window into the garden, where it was still totally dark. Suddenly I noticed something on the fence, a dark shadow lit up by the street lamp. At first I wasn´t sure, what it was - as there was no movement - but then I could see, it was a blackbird! I felt, that now we were two "early birds" and none of us were alone. Then, strangely, it came to my mind, that this blackbird had come to greet me, and represented a greeting from you! So I took some bread and put it out for the bird, so that it could have its breakfast, too... :-)

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