San Diego Peace Corps Association

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Acting on Your Belief
Cultural Understanding
Peace Maker
Working Together




Quotes as Niblets of Sustenance to Support Us "Bringing It Back Home"

These quotes come from the Pacific Waves Issues from September 2000 to date. They are divided into several categories. Quotes were placed where they seemed to fit "best," though many could have fit in several categories.

If you have a favorite quote related to the themes of peace, non-violence, bringing it all back home, cultural understanding, volunteerism... share it with us and it could be added here.

Acting on Your Belief

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.  -Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Better than a thousand hollow words, Is one word that brings peace. --Buddha

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. --Dante

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.  -Peter Drucker

If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. --Moshe Dyan (1915-81)

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” --T.S. Elliot

Peace we want because there is another way to fight against poverty, disease and ignorance. -Indira Gandhi 1966

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever. --Mohandas Gandhi

Life sucks, so get off your ass and make it better! -Dustin Gregg

Never have the natons of the world had so much to lose, or so much to gain. Together we shall save our planet, or together we shall perish in its flames. -John F. Kennedy

One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal.  We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.  -Martin Luther King

The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy.  --Martin Luther King

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” --Martin Luther King Jr.

If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed for. --Chinese Proverb

You see things and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were, and I say. "Why not?" -George Bernard Shaw

To bind all human beings together in a common cause to assure peace and survival for all.  -Sargent Shriver, Nov. 10, 2001

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. --Mother Teresa

It's better to be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right. –Unknown

Activism pays the rent on being alive and being here on the planet. --Alice Walker

We can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods. -Virginia Woolf


“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” --Jane Addams

We live an era where masses of people come and go across a hostile planet, desolate and violent.  Refugees, emigrants, exiles, deportees. We are a tragic contingent.  --Isabel Allende

An act of love, a voluntary taking on oneself of some of the pain of the world, increases the courage and love and hope of all. --Dorothy Day

The flaw I have discovered in philosophical systems is that reality is always lurking in the shadows and slipping through the brush. Reality has never read philosophy. --W. Michael Gear, Coyote Summer

Let no man say, then, 'why don't "they" do something?' There is no 'they'. There is just us - you and me - free men and women, responsible individuals. --Dr. John Peters (1907 - 1992), founder of World Neighbors

Work as though you don't need the money. Love as though you've never been hurt. Dance as though nobody's watching. --Author Unknown

Cultural Understanding

“As the world shrinks and our population mix increases there will be a greater need for inter-cultural understanding and acceptance.” --Australian Volunteer, Samoa.

“When you're finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you're going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can't we learn to live together like decent people?” --Frank Borman

Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. --Cesar Chavez

Every culture enriches our lives with its own unique beauty and wisdom. Yet we all share the same hopes and dreams, the same need for love and home and kinship. These are the common threads that bind us together as one family in one world. --Common Threads, Hallmark

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 Eisenhower

The evils of government are directly proportional to the tolerance of the people.  --Frank Kent

We need, in every community, a group of angelic troubleshooters.  -Bayard Rustin

Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. --Albert Schweitzer


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius--and a lot of courage--to move in the opposite direction. --Albert Einstein

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing. --Abraham Lincoln

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever does. --Margaret Mead

For strong souls live like fire-hearted suns, to spend their strength in furthest striving actions. --Walt Whitman


Enthusiam is contagious---and so is the lack of it. –Anonymous

Peace begins when the hungry are fed. --Anonymous

“War is not healthy for children and other living things.” --Another Mother for Peace

If it's natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how? --Joan Baez

We do not inherit the earth from our fathers. We borrow it from our children. --David Bower

“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.” --General Omar Bradley

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. --Buddha

War may sometimes be a necessary evil, but no matter how necessary, it is still evil, never a good. We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other’s children. --Jimmy Carter, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech 12/10/02

The love of one's country is a splendid thing.  But why should love stop at the border? --Pablo Casals

Violence just hurts those who are already hurt...Instead of exposing the brutality of the opressor, it justifies it. --Cesar Chavez

Our enemy is our ultimate teacher. --The 14th Dalai Lama

It may seem presumptuous on my part, but I personally believe we need to think seriously whether a violent action is the right thing to do and in the greater interest of the nation and people in the long run. I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence. But how do we deal with hatred and anger, which are often the root causes of such senseless violence? --The 14th Dalai Lama, in recent letter to President Bush

The world cannot continue to wage war like physical giants and seek peace like intellectual pygmies. --Dante

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that itis incomprehensible.  --Albert Einstein

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace, to be real, must be unaffected by outside circumstances. --Mohandas Gandhi

You can't shake hands with a clenched fist. --Indira Gandhi

Experience is not what happens to you.  It is what you do with what happens to you.  --Aldous Huxley

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. --Helen Keller. 1880-1968

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 enjoyes the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.  --John F. Kennedy

The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. --Martin Luther King

The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. -HL Mencken

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. --H. L. Mencken

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.  Isaac Newton

The world cannot continue to wage war like physical giants and to seek peace like intellectual pygmies. --Basil O'Conor

The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. –Plato

Thr government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with ahappy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.  --Ronald Reagan

I dont't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --Will Rogers

Beware... Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword....[more to quote]   --Julius Caeser by Shakespeare

Do not wrong or hate your neighbor; for it is not he that you wrong; you wrong yourself. --Shawnee Chant

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. --Mark Twain


Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.  --Isaac Asimov

VIolence just hurts those who are already hurt... instead of exposing the brutality of the opressor, it justifies it. --Cesar Chavez

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

You can't shake hands with a clenched fist. --Indira Gandhi

Both Ghandi and my husband understood that the great advantage of non-violence is that its success does not depend on the integrity of political leaders.  It depends on the courage and committent of people of goodwill. --Coretta King


There are no warlike people, just warlike leaders.  Ralph Bunche

We know how to organize warfare, but do we know how to act when confronted with peace?  --Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-97)

Peace cannot be kept by force; it caqn only be achieved through understanding. -Albert Einstein

We musgt be prepared to make herioic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.  --Albert Einstein

Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are. --John W. Gardner

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a montly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. -John F Kennedy

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

This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. --Peace Pilgrim

The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' Christ, some of the other great Jewish teachers, Buddha, all preached it.  Their followers forgot it. --Eleanor Roosevelt

Peace is the one condition of Survival in this nuclear age.  -Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)

Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.  --Albert Schweitzer

Love cannot remain by itsself--it has no meaning.  Love has to be oput into action and that action is service... All works of love are works of peace. --Mother Theresa

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for repsonding to conflict--alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to volence. --Dorothy Thompson


“Although it was but a drop in the huge ocean I feel better for it. Volunteering strengthened me...it was an experience for life.” --Australian Volunteer, Botswana.

Through the decades the value and importance of volunteering has not changed. Volunteering is symbolic of human solidarity, of human equality.        -Herb Feith (first international volunteer, 1951)

“Through the decades the value and importance of volunteering has not changed. Volunteering is symbolic of human solidarity, of human equality.” --Herb Feith (first international volunteer, 1951)

Working Together

The fact that some people become heroes and sheroes can be credited to their ability to identify and empathize with "the other." --Dr. Maya Angelou

In the struggle rewards are few. In the fact, I know of only two, loving friends and living dreams. These rewards are not so few it seems. –Anonymous

With every true friendship, we build more firmly the foundation on which the peace of the world rests. --Mohandas Gandhi

I will call you my brother, I will call you my sister, on the basis of what you do for justice, what you do for equality, what you do for freedom and not on the basis of who you are. --June Jordan in Technical Difficulties

And so, my fellow Americans; ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. John F Kennedy 1917-1963

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you-- ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. --John F Kennedy, from "Innaugural Address" Jan 20, 1961

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country... --John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellowmen and along these fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes and they come back to us as effects.  --Herman Melville

He who forgives ends the quarrel. --African proverb

When spider webs are woven together, they can tie up a lion. --Ethiopian proverb

It is in the shelter of each other that people must live.  --Irish Proverb

One act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world.--Ann Radcliffe

When women have a voice in national and international affairs, wars will cease forever. --Augusta Stowe-Gullen

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  --Mother Theresa (1910-97)