Peace can mean inner peace or civil peace.  Peace is the absence of violence or war, and even the absence of uncomfortable disturbances.  Peace implies a calmness or tranquility, so peace goes beyond a mere absence of active violence and war; tranquility requires a stable system that is fair and just to all, or living a life that is in harmony with others and the wider world.  Peace also carries a connotation of unity and lawfulness. Here are some of the comments of the world’s thinkers on the subject of peace.

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Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.

— Dalai Lama

There are many controversial topics out there – abortion, nuclear weapons, the 2nd Amendment, guns, whatever, the war in Iraq. You’re going to be on one side, somebody’s going to be on the other side. Invite those people to the table. Sit down and talk.

— Daryl Davis

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

— Desmond Tutu

Never does hatred cease by hating in return; only through love can hatred come to an end. Victory breeds hatred; the conquered dwell in sorrow and resentment. They who give up all thought of victory or defeat may be calm and live happily at peace. Let us overcome violence by gentleness; let us overcome evil by good; Let us overcome the miserly by liberality; let us overcome the liar by truth.

— Dhammapada

They have not wanted Peace at all; they have wanted to be spared war — as though the absence of war was the same as peace.

— Dorothy Thompson

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict — alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.

— Dorothy Thompson

Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It is the product of Faith, Strength, Energy, Will, Sympathy, Justice, Imagination, and the triumph of principle. It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism.

— Dorothy Thompson

I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.

— Douglas MacArthur

We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

To achieve peace we must recognize the historic truth that we can no longer live apart from the rest of the world. We must also recognize the fact that peace, like freedom, is not won once and for all. It is fought for daily, in many small acts, and is the result of many individual efforts. [ … ] We should remember that the United Nations is not a cure-all. It is only an instrument capable of effective action when its members have a will to make it work.

— Eleanor Roosevelt, address to the 1952 UN convention

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

— Francis of Assisi

While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.

— Francis of Assisi

If you don’t know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he’s just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It’s one world, pal. We’re all neighbors.

— Frank Sinatra

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships — the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.

— George Bernard Shaw

To witness that calm rhythm of life revives our worn souls and recaptures a feeling of belonging to the natural world.

— George Schaller

No, I know all the war rhetoric, but it’s all aimed at achieving peace.

— George W. Bush

There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy.

— George Washington

I have come into this world to see this: the sword drop from men’s hands even at the height of their arc of rage because we have finally realized there is just one flesh we can wound.

— Hafiz of Persia

Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice.

— Harrison Ford

I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace.

— Helen Keller

Peace on earth will come to stay,
When we live Christmas every day.

— Helen Steiner Rice

As peacemakers we must resist resolutely all the powers of war and destruction and proclaim that peace is the divine gift offered to all who affirm life.

— Henri J. M. Nouwen

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.

— Henri Nouwen

If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having.

— Henry Miller

A peace which depends upon fear is nothing but a suppressed war.

— Henry Van Dyke

Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Let love continue. If we agree in love, there is no disagreement that can do us any injury; but if we do not, no other agreement can do us any good. Let us keep a secret guard against the enemy that sows discord among us. Let us endeavor to keep the unity of spirit in the bonds of peace.

— Hosea Ballou

Religion and science both profess peace (and the sincerity of the professors is not being doubted), but each always turns out to have a dominant part in any war that is going or contemplated.

— Howard Nemerov

Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.

— Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart

We need a more peaceful world, growing out of more peaceful families and neighborhoods and communities. To secure and cultivate such peace, we must love others, even our enemies as well as our friends.

— Howard W. Hunter

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

— Indira Gandhi

You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.

— Indira Gandhi

As we move through this beautiful and troubled world, may we vow to be a beacon of peace, a fearless carrier of respect and lovingkindness for all life, a teller of truth, a voice for justice, a protector of those who are vulnerable or targeted. May the power of wisdom, integrity, and compassion be our guide.

— Jack Kornfield

We kind o’ thought Christ went agin war an’ pillage.

— James Russell Lowell

Religion has long ago taught that only as the individual can establish a sense of union with a power for righteousness not himself can he experience peace, and it may be possible that the nations will be called to a similar experience.

— Jane Addams

It’s time for us to turn to each other, not on each other.

— Jesse Jackson

Anyone can love peace, but Jesus didn’t say, ‘Blessed are the peace-lovers.’ He says ‘peacemakers.’ He is referring to a life vocation, not a hobby on the sidelines of life.

— Jim Wallis

We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.

— Jimmy Carter

We cannot be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of the weapons of war.

— Jimmy Carter

I’m a nonviolent soldier. In place of weapons of violence, you have to use your mind, your heart, your sense of humor, every faculty available to you because no one has the right to take the life of another human being.

— Joan Baez

The life of ‘peace’ is both an inner journey toward a disarmed heart and a public journey toward a disarmed world. This difficult but beautiful journey gives infinite meaning and fulfillment to life itself because our lives become a gift for the whole human race. With peace as the beginning, middle, and end of life, life makes sense.

— John Dear

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.

— John F. Kennedy

It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.

— John F. Kennedy

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

— John F. Kennedy

Peace is not achieved by controlling nations, but mastering our thoughts.

— John Harricharan

If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.

— John Lennon

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.

— John Lennon

If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.

— John Lennon
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