“We regard our living together not as an unfortunate mishap warranting endless competition among us but as a deliberate act of God to make us a community of brothers and sisters jointly involved in the quest for a composite answer to the varied problems of life.”  South African civil rights leader Steven Biko, who died in jail.

“O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will.  But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering–our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of this, and when they come to judgment let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness.”  A prisoner in Ravensbruck concentration camp.

“The way you see people is the way you treat them and the way you treat them is what they become.”   Johann W. von Goethe

“We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal.’  Martin Luther King, Jr.

“But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.”  Attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in Luke 6:27.

“May creatures all abound in weal and peace, may all be blessed with peace always.  Let none cajole or flout his fellow anywhere.  Let none wish others harm in dudgeon or hate.  Just as with her own life, a mother shields from hurt her own, her only child, let all-embracing thoughts for all that lives be thine–an all-embracing love for all the universe in all its heights and depths and breadth, unstinted love, unmarred by hate within…  The Sutta Nipata Sutra

“To forgive our brother is to forgive ourselves.  We abandon our revenge; our lives have seen suffering enough.  We are tired and worn out with ourselves– If I take revenge, it will be the cause; the effect will follow me into my next life.  Look into the mirror; the compassion in your heart.  Avoid all resentment and hatred for Mankind.”  Le Ly Hayslip

“No, the demons are not banished; that is a difficult task that still lies ahead.  Now that the angel of history has abandoned the Germans, the demons will seek a new victim.  And that won’t be difficult.  Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey…We should not forget that exactly the same fatal tendency to collectivization is present in the victorious nations as in the Germans, that they can just as suddenly become a victim of the demonic powers.”  Carl Jung, written in 1945.

“He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.”  St. Augustine

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.”  Jean-Paul Sartre

“We were never promised a life free from struggle.  We were offered the hope that by committing ourselves to the struggle for a righteous society in solidarity with the wretched of the earth we would discover the secret of life.”  Sheila Collins

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied to a single garment of destiny.”  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive.  If you want to see the heroic, look at those who can love in return for hatred.”  The Bhagavad Gita

“Father forgive them; they know not what they do.”  Attributed to Jesus of Nazareth

“We witness by being a community of reconciliation, a forgiving community of the forgiven.”  Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu

“When you forgive somebody who has wronged you, you’re spared the dismal corrosion of bitterness and wounded pride.  For both parties, forgiveness means the freedom again to be at peace inside their own skins and to be glad in each other’s presence.”  Protestant minister Frederick Buechner

“Several autumns ago, I walked up to the pine tree in my backyard and asked it one question: “What is institutional violence?”  The tree did not answer right away.  So I sat at its roots and waited.  The backyard was covered with brilliantly colored leaves, the air was fresh, and suddenly I forgot that I was waiting for an answer.  The tree and I were just there, enjoying ourselves and each other.  After sitting for a long time, I turned to the tree, smiled, and said, “I no longer need an answer.”  Then I thanked it and awarded it the Grand Transnational Peace Prize.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.  This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.  The second peace is that which is made between two nations.  But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.”  Black Elk

“He reviled me; he injured me; he defeated me; he deprived me.”  In those who harbor such grudges, hatred never ceases.  He reviled me; he injured me; he defeated me; he deprived me.”  In those who do not harbor such grudges, hatred eventually ceases.  Hatred does not ever cease in this world by hating, but by not hating; this is an eternal truth.”  Attributed to the Buddha, from the Dhammapada.

“When you are filled with compassion, there is no self to oppose another and no other to stand against oneself.”  Pirke Avot, Jewish.

“When you harmonize bitter enemies, yet resentment is sure to linger, how can this be called good?  Therefore sages keep their faith and do not pressure others.  So the virtuous see to their promises, while the virtueless look after precedents.  The Way of heaven is impersonal; it is always with good people.”  Attributed to Lao Tzu, from the Tao Te Ching

“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another.”  Thomas Merton

“I am part and parcel of the whole, and I cannot find God apart from the rest of humanity.”  Mahatma Gandhi

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” Black Elk (1863-1950)

“We know how to organize warfare, but do we know how to act when confronted with peace? Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997)

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”  Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“It is possible to live in peace.”  Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”  Mother Theresa (1910-1997)

“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”  William Gladstone (1809-1898)

“But 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 (1917-1963)

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”  UNESCO Constitution


“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’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”  Churck Palahniuk

“Peace begins with a smile. “ Mother Teresa

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”  Virginia Woolf

“You have peace,” the old woman said, “when you make it with yourself.”  Mitch Albom

“Peace may sound simple – one beautiful word – but it requires everything we have, every quality, every strength, every dream, every high ideal.”  Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999)

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir (1838-1914)

“Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread.” Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

“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 (1884-1962)

“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 Theresa (1910-1997)

“Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”  The XIVth Dalai Lama



If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.
– Lao Tzu (570-490 B.C.)