schweitzer’s mercy towards mosquitos

When Schweitzer escorted Adlai Stevenson, a former governor of Illinois and presidential candidate, on a tour of the hospital grounds at Lambaréné in Gabon, Stevenson noticed a large mosquito alighting on the good doctor’s arm and promptly swatted it.  “You shouldn’t have done that,” the doctor said sharply.  “That was my mosquito.  Besides, it wasn’t necessary to call out the Sixth Fleet to deal with him.”

from Yi-Fu Tuan’s Human Goodness, p56

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2 thoughts on “schweitzer’s mercy towards mosquitos”

  1. Kinda reminds me of when Joseph Smith(from teachings of the prophet…) asked the brethren to carry some rattle snakes they were about to kill across the river.(or maybe thats a bit of a stretch)

  2. I thought of the exact same story :). It may have happened more than once, but ít happened at least once to Brigham Young. Journal of Discourses 17:40. “I remember one night, when going to Missouri, in the year 1834, I was spreading our blankets on the tall prairie grass, which was pretty thick and heavy, that a rattle-snake was under my hands and warned me of his presence by his rattles. I called to one of the brethren who was helping, and turning back the blanket, said to him – ‘Take this snake and carry it off and tell it not to come back again; and to say to its neighbors do not come into our camp tonight, lest some one might kill you.’ He took up the snake and carried it off several rods from the camp, and told it to stay away, and to tell its neighbors not to come into the camp, for they might get killed if they did.”

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