Peace is that state in which fear of any kind is unknown.
Peace is a gift,
It is a gift we give to ourselves,
And then to each other.
Richard Goode Founder, "2 Billion Voices for Peace" project, Australia
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword.
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
Better than a thousand hollow words, Is one word that brings peace.
There are three truths: my truth, your truth and the truth.
You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
Indira Gandhi, 1971
I hope...that mankind will at length, as they call themselves reasonable creatures, have reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats; for in my opinion there never was a good war, or a bad peace.
A peace that comes from fear and not from the heart is the opposite of peace.
Our friends show us what we can do; our enemies teach us what we must do.
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS!
Very few people chose war. They chose selfishness and the result was war. Each of us, individually and nationally, must choose: total love or total war.
No man is an island entire of itself ... any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
The bomb that fell on Hiroshima fell on America, too.
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contibute the best that they have and all that they are.
The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.
Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.
It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.
In every child who is born, no matter what circumstances, and of no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again: and in him, too, once more, and of each of us, our terrific responsibility toward human life; toward the utmost idea of goodness, of the horror of terror, and of God.
Let us plant dates even though those who plant them will never eat them. We must live by the love of what we will never see. This is the secret discipline. It is a refusal to let the creative act be dissolved away in immediate sense experience, and a stubborn commitment to the future of our grandchildren. Such disciplined love is what has given prophets, revolutionaries, and saints the courage to die for the future they envisaged. They make their own bodies the seed of their highest hope.
No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger that its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.
We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate --- thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.
There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.
Kofi A. Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations
If you see good in people, you radiate a harmonious loving energy which uplifts those who are around you. If you can maintain this habit, this energy will turn into a steady flow of love.
Peace begins when the hungry are fed.
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it stands than to anything on which it is poured.
In the struggle rewards are few. In the fact, I know of only two, loving friends and living dreams. These rewards are not so few it seems.
Peace is the work of justice indirectly, in so far as justice removes the obstacles to peace; but it is the work of charity (love) directly, since charity, according to its very notion, causes peace.
When evil is allowed to compete with good, evil has an emotional populist appeal that wins out unless good men and women stand as a vanguard against abuse.
Hannah Arendt, 20th-century German political philosopher and author
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
Hannah Arendt, 20th-century German political philosopher and author
Peace is not the product of a victory or a command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement. Peace is a never-ending process, the work of many decisions.
In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?
We should take care, in inculcating patriotism into our boys and girls, that is a patriotism above the narrow sentiment which usually stops at one's country, and thus inspires jealousy and enmity in dealing with others... Our patriotism should be of the wider, nobler kind which recognises justice and reasonableness in the claims of others and which lead our country into comradeship with...the other nations of the world. The first step to this end is to develop peace and goodwill within our borders, by training our youth of both sexes to its practice as their habit of life, so that the jealousies of town against town, class against class and sect against sect no longer exist; and then to extend this good feeling beyond our frontiers towards our neighbours.
That's all nonviolence is - organized love.
The only thing that's been a worse flop than the organization of nonviolence has been the organization of violence.
If it's natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how?
The point of nonviolence is to build a floor, a strong new floor, beneath which we can no longer sink. A platform which stands a few feet above napalm, torture, exploitation, poison gas, A and H bombs, the works. Give man a decent place to stand.
There have been periods of history in which episodes of terrible violence occurred but for which the word violence was never used...Violence is shrouded in justifying myths that lend it moral legitimacy, and these myths for the most part kept people from recognizing the violence for what it was. The people who burned witches at the stake never for one moment thought of their act as violence; rather they though of it as an act of divinely mandated righteousness. The same can be said of most of the violence we humans have ever committed.
War would end if the dead could return.
The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor.
Basil the Great
If you live alone, whose feet will you wash?
Youth is the first victim of war; the first fruit of peace.It takes 20 years or more of peace to make a man; it takes only 20 seconds of war to destroy him.
King Baudouin I, King of Belgium
The problems of this world are so gigantic that some are paralysed by their own uncertainty. Courage and wisdom are needed to reach out above this sense of helplessness. Desire for vengeance against deeds of hatred offers no solution. An eye for an eye makes the world blind. If we wish to choose the other path, we will have to search for ways to break the spiral of animosity. To fight evil one must also recognize one's own responsibility. The values for which we stand must be expressed in the way we think of, and how we deal with, our fellow humans.
From the Christmas Message 2001 of HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.
The finger pulls the trigger, but the trigger may also be pulling the finger.
Dr. Leonard Berkowitz
The God of life summons us to life; more, to be lifegivers, especially toward those who lie under the heel of the powers.
Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought or even kneaded it yourself. For that look on his face, for your meeting his eyes across a piece of bread, you might be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even.
The human mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with a similar energy.
W.H. Beveridge, British Economist
The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
Can I see another's woe, and not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief, and not seek for kind relief?
To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.
Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.
When you're finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you're going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can't we learn to live together like decent people?
There is no time left for anything but to make peace work a dimension of our every waking activity.
We do not inherit the earth from our fathers. We borrow it from our children.
Violence in the voice is often only the death rattle of reason in the throat.
We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.
General Omar Bradley
The pens which write against disarmament are made with the same steel from which guns are made.
Aristide Briand, French statesman, Nobel Peace Prize, 1926
The pacifist's task today is to find a method of helping and healing which provides a revolutionary constructive substitute for war.
In separateness lies the world's great misery; in compassion lies the world's true strength.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.
Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
He who can control his rising anger as a coachman controls his carriage at full speed, this man I call a good driver; others merely hold the reins.
Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me. To see reality--not as we expect it to be but as it is--is to see that unless we live for each other and in and through each other, we do not really live very satisfactorily; that there can really be life only where there really is, in just this sense, love.
(Carl) Frederick Buechner
. . . [T]o live not with hands clenched to grasp, to strike, to hold tight to a life that is always slipping away the more tightly we hold it, but . . . to live with the hands stretched out both to give and receive with gladness.
(Carl) Frederick Buechner
The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis.
When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist.
Archbishop Helder Camara, Brazilian liberation theologist
It is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.
We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves.
Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is--whether its victim is human or animal--we cannot expect things to be much better in this world... We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.
The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act on it.
Non-violence, which is the quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain.
The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating.
The non-violent technique does not depend for its success on the goodwill of the oppressor, but rather on the unfailing assistance of God.
There is no such thing as defeat in non-violence.
You know, if people are not pacifists, it's not their fault. It's because society puts them in that spot. You've got to change it. You don't just change a man - you've got to change his environment as you do it.
Through Gandhi and my own life experience, I have learned about nonviolence. I believe that human life is a very special gift from God, and that no one has a right to take that away in any cause, however just. I am convinced that nonviolence is more powerful than violence.
Non-violence exacts a very high price from one who practices it. But once you are able to meet that demand then you can do most things.
Non-violence is a very powerful weapon. Most people don't understand the power of non-violence and tend to be amazed by the whole idea. Those who have been involved in bringing about change and see the difference between violence and non-violence are firmly committed to a lifetime of non-violence, not because it is easy or because it is cowardly, but because it is an effective and very powerful way.
Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak...Non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.
Violence just hurts those who are already hurt...Instead of exposing the brutality of the oppressor, it justifies it.
We are convinced that non-violence is more powerful than violence. We are convinced that non-violence supports you if you have a just and moral cause...If you use violence, you have to sell part of yourself for that violence. Then you are no longer a master of your own struggle.
In all of his suffering, as in all of his life and ministry, Jesus refused to defend himself with force or with violence. He endured violence and cruelty so that God's love might be fully manifest and the world might be reconciled to the One from whom it had become estranged. Even at his death, Jesus cried for forgiveness for those who were executioners: "Father, forgive them"
The Challenge of Peace
We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
William Ellery Channing
Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly.
If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed for.
The question is not, do we go to church; the question is, have we been converted. The crux of Christianity is not whether or not we give donations to popular charities but whether or not we are really committed to the poor.
Sports plays a societal role in engendering jingoist and chauvinist attitudes. They're designed to organize a community to be committed to their gladiators.
The miracle of the wicked is reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
I have great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift.
Septima Poinsette Clark
War is an act of violence pushed to its utmost limits.
Major General Carl von Clausewitz
The cause of violence is not ignorance. It is self-interest. ... Only reverence can restrain violence - reverence for human life and the environment .
Rev. William Sloan Coffin, Jr.
A spiritual person tries less to be godly than to be deeply human.
Rev. William Sloan Coffin, Jr.
I believe we are on the edge of a quantum leap into a whole new way of organizing and living as a human family.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire
War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace with justice.
The idea of absolute freedom is fiction. It's based on the idea of an independent self. But, in fact, there's no such thing. There's no self without other people. There's no self without sunlight. There's no self without dew. And water. And bees to pollinate the food we eat....So the idea of behaving in a way that doesn't acknowledge those reciprocal relationships is not really freedom, it's indulgence.
We are, each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another.
Luciano de Crescenzo
No one is so foolish as to prefer to peace, war, in which, instead of sons burying their fathers, fathers bury their sons.
Croesus, King of Lydia, in Herodotus' The Persian Wars
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places! I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.
Leonardo Da Vinci
It is penance to work, to give oneself to others, to endure the pinpricks of community living.
An act of love, a voluntary taking on oneself of some of the pain of the world, increases the courage and love and hope of all.
No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.
We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.
Young people say, What is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at at time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action in the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.
If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.
Teilhard de Chardin
War stirs in men's hearts the mud of their worst instincts. It puts a premium on violence, nourishes hatred, and gives free rein to cupidity. It crushes the weak, exalts the unworthy, and bolsters tyranny .. .Time and time again it has destroyed all ordered living, devastated hope, and put the prophets to death.
Nobody was born nonviolent. No one was born charitable. None of us comes to these things by nature but only by conversion. The first duty of the nonviolent community is helping its members work upon themselves and come to conversion.
Lanza del Vasto
The longer we listen to one another - with real attention - the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions.
Gandhi once declared that it was his wife who unwittingly taught him the effectiveness of nonviolence. Who better than women should know that battles can be won without resort to physical strength? Who better than we should know all the power that resides in noncooperation?
What is the revolution that we need? We need to dissolve the lie that some people have a right to think of other people as their property. And we need at last to form a circle that includes us all, in which all of us are seen as equal... We do not belong to the other, but our lives are linked; we belong in a circle of others.
To resort to power one need not be violent, and to speak to conscience one need not be meek. The most effective action both resorts to power and engages conscience. Nonviolent actions does not have to get others to be nice. It can in effect force them to consult their consciences. Nor does it have to petition those in power to do something about a situation. It can face the authorities with a new fact and say: Accept this new situation which we have created.
A solid rock is not disturbed by the wind; even so, a wise person is not agitated by praise or blame.
Love the fellow of the resurrection, scooping up the dust and chanting "Live!"
Abba Poeman said about Abba Prior that every single day he made a fresh beginning.
Desert Fathers and Mothers
Justice is truth in action.
At some ideas you stand perplexed, especially at the sight of human sins, uncertain whether to combat it by force or by human love. Always decide, "I will combat it with human love." If you make up your mind about that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force; it is the strongest of all things and there is nothing like it.
Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazo
The first thing to be disrupted by our committment to nonviolence will be not the system but our own lives.
Mankind will never win lasting peace so long as men use their full resources only in tasks of war. While we are yet at peace, let us mobilize the potentialities, particularly the moral and spiritual potentialities, which we usually reserve for war.
John Foster Dulles, War or Peace 1950.
Those for whom peace is no more than a dream are asleep to the future.
What good is it to me that Mary gave birth to the son of God fourteen hundred years ago, and I do not also give birth to the Son of God in my time and in my culture? We are all meant to be mothers of God. God is always needing to be born.
The pioneers of a warless world are the young men (and women) who refuse military service.
We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.
Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
There will one day spring from the brain of science a machine or force so fearful in its potentialities, so absolutely terrifying, that even man, the fighter, who will dare torture and death in order to inflict torture and death, will be appalled, and so abandon war forever.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.
When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.
There is nothing that war has ever achieved that we could not better achieve without it.
Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them.
The absence of risk is a sure sign of mediocrity.
Charles de Foucauld
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids both rich and poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.
St. Francis of Assisi
Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission--to be of service to them whenever they require it... If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
St. Francis of Assisi
Nothing is so strong as gentleness; nothing so gentle as real strength.
St. Francis de Sales
I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.
Productive work, love and thought are possible only if a person can be, when necessary, quiet and alone. To be able to listen to oneself is the necessary condition for relating oneself to others.
We are going to have to find ways of organizing ourselves cooperatively,sanely, scientifically, harmonically and in regenerative spontaneity with the rest of humanity around the earth.... We are not going to be able to operate our spaceship earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common.
Change comes not from men and women changing their minds, but from the change from one generation to the next.
J. K. Galbraith
Peace we want because there is another war to fight against poverty, disease and ignorance.
Indira Gandhi, 1966
I claim to be no more than an average person with less than average ability. I have not the shadow of doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.
Nonviolence which is a quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain.
We must be the change we wish to see.
We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it. The Attainment of freedom, whether for a person, a nation or a world, must be in exact proportion to the attainment of nonviolence for each.
Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.
I am part and parcel of the whole and cannot find God apart from the rest of humanity.
Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, try the following experiment: Recall the face of the poorest and most helpless person you have ever seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be for any use to him or to her . . . Then you will find your doubts and your self melting away.
It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace.
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see, and to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look.
From a letter written by Fra Giovanni, 1513
In the name of peace
They waged the wars
ain't they got no shame
Nikki Giovanni, The Great Pax Whitie, 1979