Seek Peace: Honoring Nine Great Teachers of Peace and Non-Violence Movements
“They are not following dharma that resort to violence to achieve their purpose. But those who lead others through nonviolent means, knowing right and wrong, may be called guardians of the dharma.” Buddha
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace.” Isaiah 52:7
“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.” Khalil Gibran
October 2nd is designated – The International Day of Non-Violence – in honor of the birthday of one of the most revered proponents of non-violence; Bapu Mahatma Gandhi. In his birthplace, India, the day is referred to as Gandhi Jayanti; a proclamation of great praise.
We live in a world where, even in the face of great compassion and love, petty hatreds and ancient grievances mar the call for peaceful coexistence. The road to global peace is not an easy one, yet the men and women on my list of nine great teachers of peace/non-violence have lived their lives with the vision that war is never the answer to lasting peace, and that humanity owes its survival to finding peaceful and effective solutions to conflict. It is imperative that we, all of us, find common ground.
“Every beauty and greatness in this world is created by a single thought or emotion inside a man. Everything we see today, made by past generations, was, before its appearance, a thought in the mind of a man or an impulse in the heart of a woman.” Khalil Gibran on Peace.
It is apt that the Nobel Prizes are handed out during a time of reflection; reminding us to pay heed to the urgent need to build global consensus on matters that impact all of us. Whether in the areas of peace negotiations, environmental considerations, nuclear disarmament, global health matters, climatic challenges, or the resolution of factional wars, this is a global call to action to engage in acts of unity and peace. President Obama’s fortuitous award of the Nobel Peace Prize comes at a time when the rest of the world is watching, expecting, and definitely supporting our president to be fearless on the road to building bridges of peace around the globe. The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five awards handed out yearly through a bequest from Alfred Nobel; a wealthy industrialist. The awards are announced in Oslo where the committee gathers to review a slew of nominees and select winners.
The USA is an important political player and ally to many nations that want and seek peaceful resolutions to complex matters. Tough questions will be posed and detractors will abound on this Nobel Prize subject, but I pray that we don’t lose sight of the positive impact of this award and the reminder that global peace is imperative. President Obama’s award sends a clear message that the Nobel committee, and by default many of us, expect the continuation of his conciliatory approach to international diplomacy and governance. Congratulations President Obama!
“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.” William Gladstone
“Peace is the altar of God, the condition in which happiness exists.” Paramahansa Yogananda
My dream is that one day, we will have a world where our children truly enjoy the legacy of peace we have imagined and struggled for. Everyone can make a difference even in the smallest way. The key is to start wherever you are by being sensitive to the needs of others in your community, managing your use of natural resources, and contributing your skills and ideas.
As I gathered material for my list, it became apparent that the great teachers I selected did not start life with lofty ideals about humanity but felt compelled to stand up against oppression and human suffering; it was a calling and, from time to time, we are all called to stand in truth. I suspect you have your own list so feel free to contribute more names to my comments section below.
“If you yourself are at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world.” Thomas Merton
“If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations, in the cities, between neighbors, in the home and in the heart.” Lao Tzu
My list of nine (9) great teachers of the peace/nonviolence movement was culled from a much larger selection of names. I chose to focus on the following nine because their life’s work has always held tremendous meaning for me and I hope for you too. I have met or read about many other great teachers however, the following nine stand out:
Martin Luther King Jr
Amma ~ Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
The Dalai Lama
Leymah Gbowee and The Liberian Women’s peace movement.
More Later so please stop by. TBC…
A Timeless State by Ram Morrison via Google Images
President Barack Obama by John Moore via Getty Images
Finding Peace in Nature by Kim Candy via Google Images
A Glowing Symbol of Peace via Lord Sleeper at Photobucket
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©