Monday, December 9, 2013

Peace


I tell my ethics students that no one religion or belief systems has a claim on goodwill. Down here in the South I often hear the phrase, "I'm sorry, that wasn't very Christian of me." I think to myself, "well it wasn't very Buddhist of you either." Rather than believing that they have a unique claim to Truth, many Quakers believe, Truth is too big for any one person to know, and that anyone one who claims to fully know the Truth is mistaken. My professor Ben Pink Dandelion adds that, "the only thing Quakers are certain about is uncertainty." It is this belief that sustains the Quakers as a community of seekers, of life-long learners.

During this time of year, I find comfort in the ways that different believers express a belief in and hopefully commitment to peace. So here are some wishes of Peace, from all walks of believers:

“Make me an instrument” – Prayer of St. Francis

“Seek peace and pursue it.” – Psalm 34:14

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Gautama Buddha

“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” –  Mahatma Gandhi

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.” – Dalai Lama XIV

“It is my conviction that there is no way to peace - peace is the way.” –  Thích Nhất Hạnh

"We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace, love and unity; it is our desire that others' feet may walk in the same..." - Margaret Fell, early leader in the Religious Society of Friends, letter to Charles II, June 1660