Wisdom for the ages
A friend said this morning that he hoped the world would learn a few lessons after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
I told him he was setting himself up for a fall to hope for widespread change for the good. Better to focus on individual work and maybe, just maybe, broader change will follow.
For inspiration, I looked up some of the more profound expressions of peace and love and hope. Here they are:
You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist. Indira Gandhi.
An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind. Mahatma Gandhi.
If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace. John Lennon.
You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. Malcolm X.
If we ourselves remain angry and then sing world peace, it has little meaning. First, our individual self must learn peace. This we can practice. Then we can teach the rest of the world. 14th Dalai Lama.
I have come into this world to see this: the sword drop from men’s hands even at the height of their arc of rage because we have finally realized there is just one flesh we can wound. Hafiz of Persia.
There is a higher court than courts of justice, and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts. Mahatma Gandhi.
Let us bring equality, justice, and peace for all. Not just the politicians and the world leaders, we all need to contribute. Me. You. It is our duty. Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize Winner 2014.
Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment. Thich Nhat Hanh.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. Albert Einstein.
Peace is not achieved by controlling nations, but mastering our thoughts. John Harricharan.
Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. John F. Kennedy.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa, Nobel Peace Prize 1979).
I believe our sorrow can make us a better country. I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace. Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize 2009.
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 is no greater violence than to deny the dreams of our children. Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize 2014.
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government. Thomas Jefferson.
I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. 14th Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize 1989.
But only art and music have the power to bring peace. Yoko Ono.
Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. 14th Dalai Lama.
Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere. Elie Wiesel.
You who are journalists, writers, citizens, you have the right and duty to say to those you have elected that they must practice mindfulness, calm and deep listening, and loving speech. This is universal thing, taught by all religions. Thich Nhat Hanh.
If not now, then when? If not you, then who? If we are able to answer these fundamental questions, then perhaps we can wipe away the blot of human slavery. Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize 2014.
The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don’t have to gain, develop, or attain them. We’re like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don’t need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are — as soon as we quit pretending we’re small or unholy. Bo Lozoff.
While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart. Francis of Assisi.
We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say. Zeno of Citium.
There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained. W. E. B. DuBois.
Human beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and freedom. 14th Dalai Lama.
Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. 14th Dalai Lama.
The well-being and the hopes of the peoples of the world can never be served until peace — as well as freedom, honor and self-respect — is secure. Ralph J. Bunche.
Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man’s survival. Carlos P. Romulo.
On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers. Adlai Stevenson.
Every soul is beautiful and precious; is worthy of dignity and respect, and deserving or peace, joy and love. Bryant H. McGill.