Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the spirit. Soldiers usually win battles and generals get the credit for them. You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.
We cannot force peace. It must enter free of war.
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
Peace, if it rears its beautiful head, will have found its legs in the resistance to bloodshed.
The stepping stones of this event are laid down by the people.
We must choose to walk upon the stones and not be motivated by force.
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 D. Eisenhower
But… violent and meaningful reactions to power (or tyranny) are not out of step with the natural path toward peace.
So, when peace stumbles, as it will, it must be held upright by the strength of these actions, not made to fall away.
In other words, any use of force on the way toward peace must never stem from unbridled, unreasonable or unmitigated violence; instead it must always be motivated by and in line with the goal of peace, not power.
The goal toward which all history tends is peace, not peace through the medium of war, not peace through a process of universal intimidation, not peace through a program of mutual impoverishment, not peace by any means that leaves the world too weak or too frightened to go on fighting, but peace pure and simple based on that will to peace which has animated the overwhelming majority of mankind through countless ages. This will to peace does not arise out of a cowardly desire to preserve one's life and property, but out of conviction that the fullest development of the highest powers of men can be achieved only in a world of peace.
__Robert Maynard Hutchins
© 2007 mrp/thepoetryman
Inspired by betmo's Tuesday Post for Peace