Peace & Inspirational Quotes

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“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
~ John F. Kennedy

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy South Africa, 1966

“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 contribute the best that they have and all that they are.” ~ Hafsat Abiola

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” ~ Nelson Mandela

For many more beautiful Peace Quotes & graphics:


“If you want to end the war then Instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers.” ~ Malala Yousafzai (17 year-old Noble Peace Laureate)

“Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.” ~ Martin Luther King

“To replace the old paradigm of war with a new paradigm of waging peace, we must be pioneers who can push the boundaries of human understanding.  We must be doctors who can cure the virus of violence.  We must be soldiers of peace who can do more than preach to the choir.  And we must be artists who will make the world our masterpiece.” ~Paul Chappell

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

“We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” ~ Martin Luther King

“Love is the vital essence that pervades and permeates, from the center to the circumference, the graduating circles of all thought and action. Love is the talisman of human weal and woe –the open sesame to every soul.” ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“More than just an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt (Written night before he died)

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness”  ~ Robert Muller

For many more beautiful Peace Quotes & graphics:


“What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children . . . not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.’’ ~ John F. Kennedy

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~Desmond Tutu

“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.” ~Stephen Colbert

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.” ~ John F. Kennedy

“If there is a mystical chord in democracy, it probably revolves around the notion that unexpected music can resonate from politics when people are pursuing questions larger than self… I have seen that ennobling effect in people many, many times— expressed by those who found themselves engaged in genuine acts of democratic expression, who claimed their right to define the larger destiny of their community, their nations.” ~ William Greider

“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.” ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” ~ Pericles

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war… But we have no more urgent task.” ~ John F. Kennedy

“War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another.” ~ Winston Churchill

“There is a higher court than courts of justice, and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

For many more beautiful Peace Quotes & graphics:


“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”   ~ Nelson Mandela

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton

“Anxiety is the illness of our age. We worry about ourselves, our family, our friends, our work, and our state of the world. If we allow worry to fill our hearts, sooner or later we will get sick.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“You never change anything by fighting the existing. To change
something, build a new model and make the existing obsolete!”
~ Buckminster Fuller

“Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.” ~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change. … What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~Harriet Tubman

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“As the War Office of the United States was established in a time of peace, it is equally reasonable that a Peace Office should be established in a time of War.” ~Benjamin Rush Founding Father

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” ~ George Washington

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Victor Frankl

“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great.  You can be that generation.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ~ Mark Twain

“We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but on the positive affirmation of peace. We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war. Somehow, we must transform the dynamics of the world power struggle from the negative nuclear arms race, which no one can win, to a positive contest to harness humanity’s creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity a reality for all the nations of the world. In short, we must shift the arms race into a peace race. If we have a will – and determination – to mount such a peace offensive, we will unlock hitherto tightly sealed doors of hope and transform our imminent cosmic elegy into a psalm of creative fulfillment.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Sanskrit has 108 words for love. Islam has 99 names for God. Japanese has 14 words for beauty.

We’ve got one word for Peace…. We don’t have enough words to accurately describe all the different types of peace. I think it was Socrates who once said if you don’t have a word to describe something, then how can you think about it?” ~ Steve Killelea (PeaceWeek 2011)

“Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

For many more beautiful Peace Quote graphics:


“So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.” ~ John F. Kennedy

“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Yesterday is gone and its tale told. Today new seeds are growing. ~ Rumi

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” ~ Maya Angelou

“The very first step in nonviolence is that we cultivate in our daily life, as between ourselves, truthfulness, humility, tolerance, loving kindness.” ~ Gandhi

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward — by examining his own attitude towards the possibilities of peace… First: Examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable — that mankind is doomed — that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.

We need not accept that view. Our problems are man-made. Therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable — and we believe they can do it again.” ~John F. Kennedy Read this powerful speech here

“Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.” ~ Etty Hillesum

“Always do what you are afraid to do.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t drink at the water’s edge, throw yourself in. Become the water. Only then will your thirst be quenched.” ~ Jeanette Berson

“The best weapon is to sit down and talk.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” ~ George Edward Woodberry

“We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it’s been running through the streets trying to find you.” ~ Hafiz

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” ~ John Muir

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If only there were evil people out there insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were just simple, we could separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.  And who among us is willing to destroy a piece of their own heart.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“The great progress for justice was started with very few people: women’s suffrage, abolition for slavery, the farmers populist & labor progressive movement in the late 19th century, and then on to the small number of people who pushed for social security, medicare and many other changes. It starts with We the People… Every one of these changes that we’re glad of in the 20th century, they never had more than a few thousand really full on activists, but they represented the public sentiments.  So let’s not lose heart folks.  We still have the power, we just have to organize groups that first focus on the Members of Congress, that’s the pivot institution that has the power to leverage turning this country around.  And there are only 535 of them in the U.S. Congress.” ~Ralph Nader

“We stand by as children starve by the millions because we lack the will to end hunger.  But we have found the will to develop missiles capable of flying over the polar cap and landing within a few hundred feet of their target.  This is not innovation.  It is a profound distortion of humanity’s purpose on earth.” ~ Senator Mark Hatfield

“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.” ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“God did not burden the United States with a diversity of backgrounds, ideals and religions, he BLESSED America with them… and we in our diversity and differences are all in this together.” ~ Rep. Emanuel Cleaver

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~ Diane Ackerman

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. ~ Henri Nouwen

“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.” ~ William Blake

“The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.” ~ Joanna Macy

“We aren’t passengers on Spaceship Earth.  We’re the crew.  We aren’t residents on this planet.  We’re citizens.  The difference in both cases is responsibility.” ~Apollo Astronaut Rusty Schweickart

“Because the relationship between self and world is reciprocal, it is not a matter of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the Earth, the Earth heals us. No need to wait. As we care enough to take risks, we loosen the grip of ego and begin to come home to our true nature.” ~ Joanna Macy

“We are our world knowing itself. We can relinquish our separateness. We can come home again — and participate in our world in a richer, more responsible and poignantly beautiful way than before, in our infancy.” ~ Joanna Macy

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” ~ Pamela Vaull Starr

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“By peace we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively-  a never-ending process” ~ Johan Galtung

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr

“I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer  to mankind’s problems. And  I’m going  to  talk about it everywhere  I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I’m not talking about emotional bosh when  I talk about love; I’m talking about a strong, demanding  love.  For  I have seen  too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on  the  faces of too many Klansmen and  too many White Citizens Councilors in  the South to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear.  I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~Albert Einstein

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. That makes it hard to plan the day.” ~ E.B. White

‘I am here to make the case for strengthening our capacity to use “soft” power and for better integrating it with “hard” power… Military success is not sufficient to win: economic development, institution-building and the  rule of law, promoting internal reconciliation, good governance, providing basic services to the people, training and equipping indigenous military and police forces, strategic communications, and more of these, along with security, are essential ingredients for long-term success…” ~ Sec. of Defense, Robert Gates

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” ~Winston Churchill

“My hope and wish is that one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call “education of the heart.” Just as we take for granted the need to acquire proficiency in the basic academic subjects, I am hopeful that a time will come when we can take it for granted that children will learn, as part of the curriculum, the indispensability of inner values: love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness.” ~ Dalai Lama

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. ” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“One day the sun admitted I am just a shadow.

I wish I could show you The Infinite Incandescence That has cast my brilliant image!

I wish I could show you When you are lonely or in darkness

The Astonishing Light Of your own Being!”

~ Hafez

“In a time of unprecedented challenge and evolutionary transition we must heal the wounds of the past, engage fully in the transformation of present conditions, and create a future of unparalleled dignity and beauty for all beings and for all life on Earth.” ~James O’Dea

“Each of the great social achievements of recent decades has come about not because of government proclamations, but because people organized, made demands, and made it good politics for governments to respond. It is the political will of the people that makes and sustains the political will of governments.” ~James Grant, former Executive Director of UNICEF

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” ~ Mother Teresa

“A few really dedicated people can offset the masses of out of harmony people, so we who work for peace must not falter, we must continue to pray for peace and to act for peace in whatever way we can. We must continue to speak for peace and to live the way of peace; to inspire others, we must continue to think of peace and know that peace is possible. What we dwell upon we help bring to manifestation. One little person giving all of her time to peace makes news. Many people giving some of their time can make history.” ~The Peace Pilgrim

“Decide to network. Use every letter you write, every conversation you have, every meeting you attend to express your fundamental beliefs and dreams.

Affirm to others the vision of the world you want. Network through thought, network through action, network through love, network through the spirit.

You are the center of the world. You are a free, immensely powerful source of life and goodness. Affirm it, spread it, radiate it. Think day and night about it and you will see a miracle happen; the greatness of your own life.

In a world of big powers, media and monopolies, but of four and a half billion (now six), networking is the new freedom, the new democracy, a new form of happiness.” ~Robert Muller, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that, one of these days, governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“This, therefore, is a faded dream of the time when I went down into the dust and noise of the Eastern market-place, and with my brain and muscles, with sweat and constant thinking, made others see my visions coming true. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men and women, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.” ~T. E. Lawrence

“I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion, and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed.” ~Dalai Lama

“Security is mostly superstition. It doesn’t exist in nature nor do we as human beings experience it. Avoiding the danger of life is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.” ~Helen Keller

“It is in the nature of revolution, the overturning of an existing order, that at its inception a very small number of people are involved. The process, in fact, begins with one person and an idea, an idea that persuades a second, then a third and a fourth, and gathers force until the idea is successfully contradicted, absorbed into conventional wisdom, or actually turns the world upside down. A revolution requires not only ammunition, but also weapons and men willing to use them and willing to be slain in the battle. In an intellectual revolution there must be ideas and advocates willing to challenge an entire profession, the establishment itself, willing to spend their reputations and careers in spreading the idea through deeds as well as words.” ~Jude Wanniski

“We’re not passengers on Spaceship Earth, we’re the crew. We’re not just residents on this planet, we’re citizens. The difference in both cases is responsibility.” ~Russell Schweiker, U.S. Apollo 9 astronaut

“Leadership is all about the release of human possibilities. . .the capacity to inspire is communicating to people that you believe they matter, that you know they have something important to give.” ~Joseph Jaworski

“I know of no safe depository of the ultimate power of society but the people themselves; and if we think them no enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Loving Your Enemies… Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this demand is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes it is love that will save our world and civilization; love even for our enemies.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

” I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land. Most of these people will never make the headlines and their names will not appear in Who’s Who. Yet when years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvelous age in which we live–men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization–because these humble children of God were willing to suffer for righteousness’ sake.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr

“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.” ~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate, In fact violence merely increases hate.

So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than are governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959

“Our task must be to free ourselves from our prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~Albert Einstein

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. ~ Wendell Berry

“Love is the vital essence that pervades and permeates, from the center to the circumference, the graduating circles of all thought and action. Love is the talisman of human weal and woe–the open sesame to every soul.” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“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.” ~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” ~ Gandhi

“As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

A Brave and Startling Truth By Maya Angelo

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet Traveling through casual space Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns To a destination where all signs tell us It is possible and imperative that we learn A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it To the day of peacemaking When we release our fingers From fists of hostility And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate And faces sooted with scorn and scrubbed clean When battlefields and coliseum No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters Up with the bruised and bloody grass To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches The screaming racket in the temples have ceased When the pennants are waving gaily When the banners of the world tremble Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders And children dress their dolls in flags of truce When land mines of death have been removed And the aged can walk into evenings of peace When religious ritual is not perfumed By the incense of burning flesh And childhood dreams are not kicked awake By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it Then we will confess that not the Pyramids With their stones set in mysterious perfection Nor the Gardens of Babylon Hanging as eternal beauty In our collective memory Not the Grand Canyon Kindled into delicious color By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji Stretching to the Rising Sun Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor, Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace We, this people on this mote of matter In whose mouths abide cankerous words Which challenge our very existence Yet out of those same mouths Come songs of such exquisite sweetness That the heart falters in its labor And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet Whose hands can strike with such abandon That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness That the haughty neck is happy to bow And the proud back is glad to bend Out of such chaos, of such contradiction We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it We, this people, on this wayward, floating body Created on this earth, of this earth Have the power to fashion for this earth A climate where every man and every woman Can live freely without sanctimonious piety Without crippling fear

When we come to it We must confess that we are the possible We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world That is when, and only when We come to it.