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Quotes from Peace Heroes


 "A prisoner of conscience is one prisoner of conscience too many."

 --- Aung San Suu Kyi, on the occasion of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize 21 years after notice of the award (She had been under house arrest when the award was made).  More... and Award Speech





"The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all."
Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), who waged war on a superpower by using the weapon of words.

 [Bio]   {Autobio]   [Eulogy}

"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave." --- Calvin Coolidge

"Punishment for the sake of punishment doesn't do anything for these kids." --- Camila Batmanghelidjh, about outcast criminal children

:"How infinitesimal is the importance of anything I do, but how infinitely important it is that I should do it."--- Dr. F. William Sunderman, active to age 104

"When I was thinking about my Great Work Project, I thought about having an impact at a global scale. That was fairly overwhelming, but I did some research and found that $10--the cost of a mosquito net--is the cheapest unit of global change. Malaria is a scourge--a child dies of it every 45 seconds--and nowhere more so than in Africa. For $10, you can save lives. I though I could try and raise $10 per book. (And of course, we're actually raising twice that.) --- Michael Bungay Stanier

"Since the government said it was impossible, we didn't know what else to do but tell everyone we knew about Jacob and the invisible children." --- Jason Russell on KONY 2012 a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and save the children of Uganda.

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances - to choose one's own way." - Victor Frankl

"I refuse to believe that I am part of a lost generation."

How Many Nuclear Bombs?
"The US has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons; the Soviet Union (sic) has about the same; Great Britain and France have several hundred, and Israel has 150 or more," said former US President Jimmy Carter in a press conference at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales, May 26, 2008. {full story at

Another informational link on Israel's nuclear weapons

"For each word you get right, we donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program."  John Breen is the founder of, a word game that helps starving people around the world get food.  Try it and become a peace hero by offering a bowl of food.

"We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity." Former US Vice President Al Gore and recipient (jointly with the IPCC) of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.  [More info]

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences that we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee." - Marian Wright Edelman, lawyer, educator activist

September 21 Day of Peace  "...a fixed calendar date ..a day for you to act, to become involved, to make a difference matter how big or small, please do it...a day of cease fire, non-violence and cultural cooperation .. the 21st of September is that starting come together as one to lift the consciousness around the most fundamental issue, the protection of each another. Please, please, don't wait for government to make the difference. Make the difference yourself. By working together there will be peace one day." ---Jeremy Gilley

Make peace with everyone you encounter all day.  Hold a minute of silence. Come together with a family. Help immunize children. Whatever you can conceive to make a commitment to peace, think forward, dream ahead, leap into action --- what you will do next Sept. 21st?

"Hey you
Don't you give up
It's not so bad
There's still a chance
For us ...This could be good ..Hey you..."
--- Madonna, Watch her LIve Earth Hey You Video

"Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom 
is never really won -- you earn it and win it in every 
generation." --- Coretta Scott King (1927-2006)

"When you buy a Red product, the company gives money to buy pills that will keep someone in Africa alive ... The idea is simple, the products are sexy and people live instead of die." --- Bono, on shopping to fight AIDS. Note:
If you must shop at the mall, offset your buy-mania with a purchase that will actually make the world better in some convoluted, crassly-commercial, consumer-based but determined manner. Bono promises that, eventually, the medicine arrives. In fact, he has already raised $10 million in the UK with this Red Campaign

"It's easier to be ignorant and say I don't know about the problem. But once you know, once you've seen it in their eyes, then you have a responsibility to do something. There is strength in numbers, and if we all work together as a team, we can be unstoppable." -- Craig Kielburger, founder of Free The Children, an organization to stop child slavery

"The only thing that bothered me was that we waited so long to make this protest."
 --- Rosa Parks [on Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott]

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." --- John Lennon

"Never, never rest contented with any circle of ideas, but always be certain that a wider one is still possible. --- Pearl Bailey

"We have had over 20 countries sending rescue teams. There is hardly a country in the world that has not spoken with me." --- Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri (Source: CNN Oct. 12, 2005) 
How to Help - Pakistan Earthquake Rescue and Relief Efforts

"Listen, the environmental movement is not about protecting the fishes and the birds so much as recognizing that nature is the infrastructure of our communities ... If you're saying the values that drive the environmental movement are uncool and antithetical to America, then I would argue just the opposite. If you think being patriotic is not cool, I'd say that's not true either. I'd say the most patriotic thing you can do is to take care of the environment and try to live sustainably."  
--- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., senior counsel for the National Resource Defense Fund (NRDC) [interviewed by Nick Welsh for the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper Sept. 15, 2005]

"Whatever I can do to help." --- Sean Penn

"We want to uplift everyone here ... give people something to live for." --- peace hero Bob Ford, owner of the Sanctuary Golf Club in Brandon, Mississippi, who with his wife, Joyce, cooking food for flood evacuees at Mississippi Coliseum shelter about 190 miles north of New Orleans. Mr. Ford also helped finance a wedding ceremony for Trenise Williams and Joseph Kirsh, who had fled the New Orleans area and lost everything.  [Photo]

"I saw science as being in harmony with humanity. I did not imagine that the second half of my life would be spent on efforts to avert a mortal danger to humanity created by science.  The practical release of nuclear energy was the outcome of many years of experimental and theoretical research. It had great potential for the common good. But the first the general public learned about the discovery was the news of the destruction of Hiroshima by the atom bomb. A splendid achievement of science and technology had turned malign ... Let me remind you that nuclear disarmament is not just an ardent desire of the people, as expressed in many resolutions of the United Nations. It is a legal commitment ... for the sake of humanity - we must get rid of all nuclear weapons." --- Joseph Rotblat   (1908-2005), from his 1955 Nobel Prize Acceptance speech. Read a tribute to Rotblat written by Mairead Corrigan Maguire (Oct 2005)

"I just wish George had as much courage in his entire body as Casey had in his little pinky, then he would meet with me." ---Cindy Sheehan is camped outside the Crawford Texas home of US President George W. Bush, who refuses to meet with her or other war-protesting parents of soldiers killed or wounded in the Iraq War.
(full quotelinks)

"Humanity should question itself, once more, about the absurd and always unfair phenomenon of war, on whose stage of death and pain only remains standing the negotiating table that could and should have prevented it." --- Pope John Paul II 

"Modern Society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyles." ---
Pope John Paul II, biography

"You can't fix every problem, but what you can fix, you must."  --- Bono

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." --- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I am proud and happy to do what I did ... You didn't succeed to break me, you didn't succeed to make me crazy ... All those who are standing behind me, supporting me ... all are heroes ... I am a symbol of the will of freedom ... you cannot break the human spirit." --- Mordechai Vanunu , a nuclear weapons whistleblower after release from 18 years in Israeli prison,  April 21, 2004. [Vanunu Release News Story and Photo]

"For anyone who pursues human rights in Iran, fear is a constant threat from birth to death. I have managed to overcome that fear." Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

"You spend money on bombs, and in 10 years they're out of date, but [if] you build bridges, they last forever." Tung-Yen Lin's response to President Ronald Reagan when presented with the National Medal of Science in 1986. Tung-Yen Lin  (1912-2003) shocked the President by presenting him with a design for an "Intercontinental Peace Bridge" across the Bering Strait, linking the US with the USSR.

"I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering, somewhat first-hand, the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances." --- Rachel Corrie

Feeling powerless in the face of global events? Consider this statement by 
Dr. F. William Sunderman
, active to age 104: "How infinitesimal is the importance of anything I do, but how infinitely important it is
that I should do it."

As a Christian and as a president who was severely provoked by international crises, I became thoroughly familiar with the principles of a just war, and it is clear that a substantially unilateral attack on Iraq does not meet these standards." - Jimmy Carter, March 8, 2003

"They're here in solidarity with me because we like non-fiction. We like non-fiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time with fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time when we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it is the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts, we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush! Shame on you! .You're time is up." --- Michael Moore, after receiving the Oscar Award for Best Documentary Film. Michael Moore created a critical anti-gun documentary Bowling for Columbine. Moore invited his fellow nominees in the non-fiction category to stand on the stage with him as he was given the award.

"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."
---Maya Angelou


"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein


"Give peace a chance." - John Lennon


"... To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else." --- Theodore Roosevelt (US President 1858-1919 who himself was not like Teflon to serious criticism) in the Kansas City Star on May 7, 1918 [full quote & biographical information]


"Courage is not demonstrated by domination of others, but in mastery of our deepest emotions. Transforming fear and hate into compassion for all human beings is a powerful way to turn the world away from darkness." - [quote originator unknown]


"All works of love are works of peace." - Mother Theresa


"The need is not really for more brains; the need now is for a gentler, a more tolerant people than those who won for us against the ice, the tiger, and the bear." --- Loren Eiseley


"True peace is not merely the absence of tension but is the presence of justice and brotherhood." 
--- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


"If you lose hope somehow you lose that vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from The Trumpet Conscience


"Whether you be man or woman you will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."--- James L. Allen


"Hatred, prejudice and anger are what caused this terrible tragedy, and the people of the city of New York should act differently. We should act bravely. We should act in a tolerant way. We should go about our business, and we should show these people that they can't stop us." --- New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Sept. 11, 2001


"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."  -- Mahatma Gandhi


"I figured out how to catch fugitives without a gun." --- John Walsh, father of Adam Walsh, a 6 year old child who was abducted and murdered by a pedophile. John Walsh founded a national center for missing and exploited children in the US. The center has apprehended 600 criminals in a few years. NCMEC website


"The challenges are great, but if we accept individual responsibility and make sustainable choices, we will rise to the challenges, and we will become part of the positive tide of change."  Severn Cullis-Suzuki, delegate to the Rio Earth Summit and a member of the UN World Summit Advisory Council    The Recognition of Responsibility


"Nuremberg taught me that creating a world of tolerance and compassion would be a long and arduous task. And I also learned that if we did not devote ourselves to developing effective world law, the same cruel mentality that made the Holocaust possible might one day destroy the entire human race." -- Ben Ferencz, prosecutor at World War II Nuremberg Trials



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


"When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries is in danger." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt


"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." -- Edward Abbey








"This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender." -- words written in many colors on Pete Seeger's banjo


"With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity. " --- Keshavan Nair


"'s been a constant struggle to maintain what we call "humanitarian space" for our operations inside the country [Afghanistan]. And we felt that we were able to but we are almost reaching our limits. Some agencies were targeted because the Taliban perceived that they had ulterior motives-political, religious and so forth. It's quite unfortunate since they were delivering services to the population in Afghanistan. We still have no news of these people-I think that there are eight international staff people that were arrested in Kabul. It shows how important it is for humanitarian agencies to maintain a clear humanitarian agenda. Even the perception that there is something else behind or aside-we aren't fronting for anything else." --- Nicolas De Torrente, Executive Director USA for Medecins Sans Frontieres- MSF- Doctors Without Borders; 10/21/01


"A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular." --- Adlai Stevenson, American politician


"Heroism is not only running into flames. It's doing your job in the face of horror." -- Martin Glynn, NYC More


"Let us seek a world in which security is gained through disarmament, international cooperation, and social justice not through escalation and retaliation." - from a statement drafted by New York City staff of the War Resisters League; September 11, 2001


"I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man's pride." --- William James


People need to realize 
that they need to take 
the initiative." -- Arun Gandhi 

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."  --- Jimi Hendrix


"It's a measure of the depth of our consumer trance that the death of the planet is not sufficient to break it." - Kalle Lasn, Canada, editor of Adbusters: Journal of the Mental Environment   More



"Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton


"Those who say that there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look."
Ronald Reagan, US President, from Inaugural Address Jan. 20, 1981



"I was in Luna for 738 days because it took 738 days to reach critical mass and you need to reach critical mass to make change."  --- Julia Butterfly Hill, USA, 5/12/01


"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others" -- Peace Pilgrim  Photo and more about this inspiring and humble 20th Century crusader for inner and global peace


"If the corporations have their way, the Earth will be killed, and that's in your lifetime. It's revolting to me that students are being trained to work in corporations. It's obscene to me that the corporations are running the world. We've got to get cross. Anger is an appropriate emotion." -- Dr. Helen Caldicott, Australia, 4/20/01


mitakuye oyasin
we are all related


"... leadership has to be focused on some very radical ideas that only we as 21st Century people can talk about: making sure people have a livelihood, making sure people receive a living wage, making sure the environment, the Mother Earth, is embraced and cherished and not destroyed. Making sure people are healthy in what they eat, making sure we hold people and corporations accountable for the damage they do not only to our environment but to our institutions."    --- Danny Glover   More




"Peace-making is a healing process and it begins with me, but it does not end there." --- Gene Knudsen Hoffman on the subject of Compassionate Listening as a peacemaking tool.


"Peace is the only battle worth waging."  ---  Albert Camus

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."
---The Irish Times, Washington, DC

"If we want world peace, we must let go of our attachments and truly live like nomads." More...go ahead, click, it's worth the time


"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends.  You talk to your enemies."--- Moshe Dayan, Israel


Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Poverty is the worst form of violence." - Gandhi


"Keep an open mind - but not so open that your brain falls out."- Camille Cracciola


"It was quite incomprehensible to me ... why in my evening prayers I should pray for human beings only. So when my mother had prayed with me and had kissed me goodnight, I used to add silently a prayer that I had composed myself for all living creatures. It ran thus: "O Heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that have breath; guard them from all evil, and let them sleep in peace." - Albert Schweitzer

"I would like people to take more risks and be less concerned with becoming popular. Music is supposed to be a reflection of what's going on in society, and as far as I'm concerned, we've become too complacent." -- Madonna


"Now somebody will ask me, Pete, how can you prove these songs really make a difference? And I have to confess I can't prove a darn thing, except that the people in power must think they do something, because they keep the songs off the air." - Pete Seeger  More


"The secret of village togetherness and happiness has always been the generosity of the people, but the key to that generosity is inefficiency and decay. Because our village huts were not built to last very long, they had to be regularly renewed. To do this, villagers came together, at least once a year to work on somebody's hut. ... It is the putting back together again, the renewing, that ultimately makes something strong. That is true of our houses, our language, our relationships." - Martin Prechtel, Tzutujil shaman


"I better quit my talking 'cause I told you all I know
But please remember, pardner, wherever you may go
The people are building a peaceful world, and when the job is done,
That'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done."
     --- Woody Guthrie, American folk hero


"Those things of real worth in life are worth going to any length in love and respect to safeguard." - Julia Butterfly Hill, environmental activist



"Deep down, all of us are probably aware that some kind of mystical evolution is our true task. Yet we suppress the notion with considerable force because to admit it is to admit that most of our political gyrations, religious dogmas, social ambitions, and financial ploys are not merely counter-productive but trivial." --- Tom Robbins, writer, American


"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." - Gandhi

"Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance ..."
- John Lennon


"I don't do great things. I do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

"Simple truths are more powerful than empires." - Gandhi


"Share Information. It creates connection so people can see a little of what is up with you. If you don't have anything to say it's nothing to get down on yourself about because it happens to every single person and animal on earth because no one is perfect."  The Human Imperfect Energy List by Chris Johanson


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