As I sat in my bed this morning scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw more and more outrage towards the massacre that occurred in Florida this week. A heated debate rages over whether Americans should have more gun control or keep things the way they are. My initial reaction was to go trigger happy, spouting that maybe more people should have guns so we can protect ourselves from this violent world.
But I want to take a step back.
I have a picture hanging up on my wall in my room. It’s one of a girl leaning her head against a wolf. I don’t know why, but that painting means a lot to me. While looking at that image it made me think of what all religious and spiritual leaders have spoken about violence and peace.
So, I decided to make a list of quotes promoting peace to remind myself of its importance. I believe that what we focus on will pervade the world around us. Maybe if we have more reminders of peace, we’ll create a better and lasting unity with each other. So, here goes 🙂
“An eye for eye makes the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Mother Teresa
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus Christ (John 14:27 King James Version)
“The best among you is the one who doesn’t harm others with his tongue and hands.” Prophet Muhammad
“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace” Buddha.
“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict through peaceful means.” Ronald Reagan
“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
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.” Menachem Begin
“Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.” Christie Brinkley
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” Jalaluddin Mevalana Rumi
For some reason, that last quote really struck me. All of us in this world are people, truly the same, connected, trying to figure out what’s right in the world. There are those who are corrupt, yes, but there is still goodness in this world. Peace can be created in a world full of darkness.
My heart goes to those who are suffering in Florida. I ache for those poor families. I pray that all of us may find more ways to seek out peace and love. That we may lift up those who are broken and hurting. That we may smile and hug the lonely. I want to finish with a quote from one of my new favorite musicals Dear Evan Hansen.
“No one deserves to be forgotten
No one deserves to fade away
No one should come and go
And have no one know he was ever even here
No one deserves to disappear
Even if you’ve always been that
Barely-in-the background kind of guy
You still matter
And even if you’re somebody who can’t escape the feeling
that the world’s passed you by
You still matter
If you never get around to doing some remarkable thing
that doesn’t mean that you’re not worth remembering
No one should flicker out or have any doubt
That it matters that they are here
No one deserves to disappear.”
Truly, all lives matter. Yours and mine. Let’s seek for peace and helping those in need.