“No matter how many bombs we drop ...”

“No matter how many bombs we drop, no matter how skillfully our soldiers fight, we are not responding to the ultimate challenge until we show the world how and why we must all learn to live in peace, until peace becomes the only permanent alternative to war.”
Sargent Shriver |New Haven, CT| November 10, 2001

Our Quote of the Week expresses a basic principle that we can’t afford to forget now: no amount of violence can lead to a more peaceful world.

Sargent Shriver spoke these words two months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, while addressing his alma mater at the Yale University Daily News Annual Banquet. In his speech, he broached the topic of war, stressing that as a strategy, it was severely limited in its ability to bring about what all human beings ultimately need: a state of sustained peace. His words show consistency of thought with his early work on the Peace Corps. They also show the ability to think critically about the contemporary challenges that the world faced in 2001--and that we continue to face today.

As 2020 begins, our invocation is this: let us remember that peace really does start with each of us. Let us remember that we all have the power to harm others with our words and with our actions. Let us use the influence we have to cultivate peace in our own environments, and to demand that our leaders do everything they can to achieve peace: lead with diplomacy, de-escalate tensions, and forge partnerships with other leaders on the issues that will make all human beings safe and prosperous.

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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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