“I choose peace”

“Now more than ever, we depend on one another for our very existence! We are not just Americans, or Jews, or Muslims, or Catholics, or rich, or poor, or famous, or obscure. Yes, some of us still wear those labels today. But we must realize now that our children and grandchildren will be confronting a world of stark choices: peace or death. As for me, for my children, my wife, and my friends, I choose peace; for all peoples in all the world.”
Sargent Shriver |Washington, D.C.| June 22, 2002

Our Quote of the Week recognizes our ever-increasing interdependence and anticipates a future in which peace is our only reasonable choice.

This week’s quote, from Sargent Shriver’s 2002 Speech at the National Peace Corps Association’s 41st Annual Celebration Dinner, highlights two beliefs that guided Sargent Shriver throughout his life: 1) that all human beings are connected; and 2) that we must pursue a path of peace. In the speech, Shriver points out that as time has gone on, humans have become more and more connected, which is a powerful thing, but it also implies that threats and attacks on others also put us in peril, whether we realize it or not. He makes the point that calls to war “can only take us so far,” and then he makes, instead, a Shriver-esque call to peace:

Let’s join anew in common cause with all countries to eradicate poverty and militarism.

As we make our way through the holiday season and head towards a new year, let us take this call to heart. In 2020, many of us have had new realizations about the ways in which our interconnectedness can lift us up, and also how it can threaten us. The uprising against racial violence after the killing of George Floyd, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, pose daily reminders of the ways in which our actions affect others around us -- particularly those who are more vulnerable than we are. Let us be moved to action by these reminders, in service of each other, and in service of a more peaceful, prosperous world for all of us.

Wishing you joy and health during this holiday season.

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Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
Sargent Shriver
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