Peace Talks - War, Violence, Hope


We have compiled this collection of quotations to inspire, motivate and even provoke readers. 
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Violence and Non-violence
Hope and Faith and Love
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As peace is of all goodness, so war is an emblem, a hieroglyphic,  
of all misery. 
John Donne  Sermons   1622 

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask: "Mother, what was war?"  
Eve Merriam 

If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannonshots.  
Napoleon Bonaparte   1807 

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination.   
When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. 
Oscar Wilde   Intentions   1891 

To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery  
the soil of love. 
George Santayana  1905 

There are only two powers in the world - the power of the sword and  
the power of the spirit.  In the long run, the sword will always  
be conquered by the spirit. 
Napoleon Bonaparte 

All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and  
who therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world  
to do the fighting for them. 
Emma Goldman  1917 

And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation,  
neither shall they learn war any more. 
Isaiah 2:4  

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind... 
War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector  
enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today. 
John F. Kennedy   1961 

The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars  
are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. 
Martin Luther King Jr.   1965 

War is as outmoded as cannibalism, chattel slavery, blood-feuds, and duelling, an insult to God and humanity...a daily crucifixion of Christ. 
Muriel Lester  

War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace. 
Thomas Mann  

There never was a good war, or a bad peace. 
Benjamin Franklin   letter to Josiah Quincy   1773 

Peace has its victories no less than war,  
but it doesn't have as many monuments to unveil. 
“Kin” Hubbard  

Older men declare war.  But it is youth that must fight and die. 
Herbert Hoover   1944 

War is at best barbarism...Its glory is all moonshine.  It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.  War is hell. 
Gen. William Sherman  

Betting on deterrence to continue to save us from nuclear annihilation is like building your house on the side of a volcano and hoping it will never erupt. 
Tom Hudgens   Let’s abolish war 

The ‘peace’ that prevails today is the peace of fear and the peace of preparation.   
Ignoring the sincere advice of men of wisdom, the great nations of the world are intent upon demonstration of their destructive strength.  
That way lies war, not peace. 
Swami Sivananda  

[War is] a crime.  Ask the infantry and ask the dead. 
Ernest Hemingway  

The way to prevent war is to bend every energy toward preventing it,  
not to proceed by the dubious indirection of preparing for it. 
Max Lerner   Actions and passions   1949 

Youth is the first victim of war; the first fruit of peace.   
It takes twenty years of peace to make a man;  
it takes only twenty seconds of war to destroy him. 
Baudouin I of Belgium   1959 

There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found  
to prevent the drawing of the sword. 
Ulysses S Grant  

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars -  
yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments. 
Franklin D Roosevelt  

In peace the sons bury their fathers and in wars the fathers bury their sons. 
Francis Bacon 

War will disappear only when men shall take no part whatever in violence and shall be ready to suffer every persecution that their abstention will bring them.  It is the only way to abolish war.  
Anatole France  

Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man should have the right  
to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because  
his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have none with him? 
Blaise Pascal   Pensees   1670 

There is no such thing as an inevitable war.  
If war comes it will be from a failure of human wisdom. 
Andrew Bonar Law (speech before World War I) 

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.  
Dave Dellinger  

Because we want peace with half a heart and half a life and will,  
the war of course continues because the waging of war is total.   
But the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial.   
So a whole will and a whole heart and a whole national life  
bent toward war prevail over the [mere desire for] peace.  
Daniel Berrigan  

Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed. 
Constitution of UNESCO  1946 

One cannot simultaneously prepare for war and create peace. 

War.  There is no solution for it.  There is never a conqueror.  
The winner generates such hatred that he is ultimately defeated. 
Michel Simon   1968 

It is false to talk of peace while possessing weapons destined to take life. 
When we talk of peace, we must lay down all murderous tools. 
Nichidatsu Fujii  

We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime  
has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in  
fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person,  
in the equal right of men and women and of nations large and small.... 
And for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace  
with one another as good neighbours...have resolved to  
combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.   
Preamble, Charter of the United Nations    

I wonder what the engineers, technicians, and workers who make weapons all day long for killing their neighbour can possibly be thinking of.   
They're not working for a living; they're working for dying. 
Adolfo Perez Esquivel  

We cannot have peace if we are only concerned with peace.  
War is not an accident.  It is the logical outcome of a certain way of life.  
If we want to attack war, we have to attack that way of life. 
A J Muste  

Behind every war there is a big lie...The big lie behind all murder,  
from the random street killing to the efficient ovens of Auschwitz,  
to the even more efficient hydrogen bomb, is that the victims deserve to die. 
Jim Wallis  

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Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property  
to be defended and not to be shared. 
Henri Nouwen   

At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love. 
Martin Luther King, Jr.   

You can’t shake hands with a closed fist. 
Indira Gandhi   1982 

Whatever needs to be maintained through force is doomed. 
Henry Miller   The wisdom of the heart   1941 

I am not very keen for doves or hawks.  I think we need more owls. 
George Aiken  

If you lose your temper, don’t look for it. 

If you wish to be brothers, let the arms fall from your hands.   
One cannot love while holding offensive arms.  
Pope Pius VI   

Don’t mark the spot where you bury the hatchet. 

The God of peace is never glorified by human violence.  
Thomas Merton  

The chief difference between violence and nonviolence is that violence depends entirely on its own calculations.   
Nonviolence depends entirely on God and His Word.  
Thomas Merton  

Violence is a tool of the ignorant. 
Flip Wilson   1968 

I object to violence because when it appears to do good,  
the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.  
Mahatma Gandhi   

The finger pulls the trigger, but the trigger may also be pulling the finger.  
Dr Leonard Berkowitz   

All who affirm the use of violence admit it is only a means to achieve justice and peace. But peace and justice are nonviolence...the final end of history.  Those who abandon nonviolence have no sense of history.   
Rather they are bypassing history, freezing history, betraying history.  
André Trocmé  

I would say that I'm a nonviolent soldier.  In place of weapons of violence, you have to use your mind, your heart, your sense of humour, every faculty available to you...because no one has the right to take the life of another human being. 
Joan Baez   

All ideologies end up killing people.  If you separate love from nonviolence you turn nonviolence into an ideology, a gimmick.  Structures that are not inhabited by justice and love have no liberating or reconciling force, and are never sources of life. 
Jean Goss  

The essence of nonviolence is love.  Out of love and the willingness  
to act selflessly, strategies, tactics, and techniques for a nonviolent struggle arise naturally.  Nonviolence is not a dogma; it is a process.  
Thich Nhat Hanh  

To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.  
Sun Tzu   

Nonviolence which is a quality of the heart,  
cannot come by an appeal to the brain.  
Mahatma Gandhi  

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   

The abolition of war does not require anti-war, anti-military lobbies or demonstrations and protest, but the development of effective nonviolent alternatives to military struggle. 
Gene Sharp 

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. 
Mahatma Gandhi   Non-violence in peace and war   1948 

Nonviolence doesn't always work -- but violence never does.  
Madge Micheels-Cyrus   

An invasion of armies can be resisted,  
but not an idea whose time has come.  
Victor Hugo   Histoire d’une crime   1852 

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 nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor.  It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it.  It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had.  Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.  
Martin Luther King, Jr. 

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Nothing that is worth doing can be accomplished in your lifetime;  
therefore you will have to be saved by hope. 
Nothing that is beautiful will make sense in the immediate instance;  
therefore you must be saved by faith. 
Nothing that is worth doing can be done alone, but has to be done with others; 
Therefore you must be saved by love. 
Reinhold Niebuhr  

What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life. 
Emil Brunner  

The starting point for a better world is the belief that it is possible.  Civilisation begins in the imagination.  The wild dream is the first step 
to reality.  It is the direction-finder by which people locate higher goals  
and discern their highest selves. 
Norman Cousins  

That all things are possible to him who believes; 
that they are less difficult to him who hopes; 
that they are more easy for him who loves, and  
still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues. 
Brother Lawrence  

Trust your hopes, not your fears. 
David Mahoney  

Hope is important because it can make the present moment  
less difficult to bear.   
If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. 
Thich Nhat Hanh  

Fear knocked at the door. 
Faith answered, 
And no-one was there. 

Whether humanity will consciously follow the law of love, I do not know.  But that need not disturb me.  The law will work just as the law of gravitation works, whether we accept it or not.  The person who discovered the law of love was a far greater scientist than any of our modern scientists.  Only our explorations have not gone far enough and so it is not possible for everyone to see all its workings.  
Mahatma Gandhi  

The way of peace is the way of love.  Love is the greatest power on earth.   
It conquers all things. 
Peace Pilgrim  

Faith is the bird that feels the light, and sings when the dawn is still dark. 
Sir Rabindranath Tagore  

Someday after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love.  Then for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin  

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,  
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,  
all of which have the potential to turn a life around. 
Leo Buscaglia  


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|  Peace is...  |  The peaceful self  |  Peace starts with the Self  |
|  Tolerance  |  Connectedness  | 
Friends and Enemies; Neighbours and Strangers  |
Teaching and Education  |  Taking action  |  Justice and Injustice  | 
Violence and Non-violence
Hope and Faith and Love

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    Last modified 27 September 2006

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