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This weekend, we’ll honor two extraordinary leaders whose commitment to service was equaled only by their compassion for all living beings. Tomorrow (January 14) is Albert Schweitzer’s birthday, and Monday (January 16) is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

It will be a reflective weekend, for sure—when it comes to achieving health and social equity for all, we have a long way to go. It’s easy to feel frustrated, to get burned out, to question whether your actions (and those of your peers) are having any lasting impact on individual lives, let alone entire families, entire communities, or entire health and social systems.

But at those low moments, a support network that shares your vision and your commitment can help to revive the glimmer of optimism that’s necessary to sustain a life of service. (That’s where the Schweitzer Fellows for Life networkand connections with other smart, passionate, and inspiring champions for change—come in.) And by focusing on a particular issue that you care deeply about and have the skill set to address—instead of trying to change everything, all at once—you’ll forge a path forward that is sustainable and personal and full of promise.

Albert Schweitzer called that “finding your own Lambarene”—that place or issue or calling where your skills and passions intersect in a way that makes a positive difference in the world around you. You’ll encounter boulders along the way. But when you do, you’ll build the strength to move past them. You’ll arrive at the answer to what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “life’s most persistent and urgent question: what are you doing for others?”, and you’ll move forward and far in accordance with the wisdom of these two great humanitarians:

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer

Visit http://mlkday.gov/ to learn about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Visit www.schweitzerfellowship.org to learn about The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

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