114 Quotes on Peace and Peacebuilding, and Lessons Learned from them on Building Peace

A huge list of great quotes on peace and peacebuilding from the great thinkers of all kinds throughout history and from around the world. Organized into 7 categories with lessons learned from these great minds.

by Taylor O’Connor | 9 August 2023

Photo by Héctor J. Rivas on Unsplash


I’ve gone through my list of thousands of quotes I have collected over many years and pulled out the quotes I have that can help us deepen our understanding of peace and illuminate aspects of peacebuilding. Naturally, as a longtime peacebuilder, any time I found any quote associated with any aspect of peace, justice, or peacebuilding I added it to the database of quotes I keep on my computer.

These quotes encompass a wide spectrum of perspectives, spanning from renowned philosophers and Nobel laureates to artists, activists, and leaders who have left an indelible mark on history. And there is tons of wisdom collected in these quotes. It was a process to pull all of them out and organize them, but in so doing it helped me reflect deeper on my peacebuilding efforts and draw out lessons I can apply to building peace in a practical way.


Organization of quotes

So I’ve presented these quotes across the following 7 categories:

  1. Defining peace and world peace
  2. Linking personal peace and world peace
  3. On the urgent need to work for peace
  4. On personal responsibility for building peace
  5. On building a culture of peace
  6. On building peace infrastructure
  7. On peacebuilding and peace processes

In each category I’ll shared with you some reflection on what I learned associated with each, and posed some questions to help you reflect on what you learn and apply to your own life and efforts for peace. I also feel like these would be super useful to integrate into workshops to train peacebuilders or on general peace education. I might pull out some of these quotes by category and put together some simple warm up activities to get people thinking in my next peacebuilder training workshops that I lead.


Each quote includes something about the author’s profession, when they lived, and where they are from (sometimes also where they lived and worked if it is significant to their life) for a little context.

What quotes have been included and which quotes from my database I have not included are as follows:

  • Included: short and medium size quotes. Note included: very long quotes.
  • No quotes on personal peace unless they make the link to peace in the world around us.
  • Not included: quotes that are just statements on the importance of peace, but that don’t teach us anything.
  • No quotes specifically on the nature of war and violence. Those can be found in another blog post HERE.

I hope these are helpful for you in your personal life and in your peace efforts. If I miss any good quotes that should be included in any category feel free to pop them in the comments below. I’d love to get some new quotes.

Quotes on peace

Defining peace and world peace

The key messages from these quotes revolve around the idea that peace is more than just the absence of conflict; it’s an active process that requires empathy and active resolution of conflict. Many discuss the presence of justice as an essential for achieving peace. Most describe an element of what peace is while others explain what peace is not, warning us to beware of false peace. Have a read of these quotes below and spend a moment reflecting on what peace means for you.

“Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict, alternatives to violence.” – Dorothy Thompson (Journalist, radio broadcaster, 1893 – 1961, USA)

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (Religious leader, activist, 1929 – 1968, USA)

“Peace equals the ability to handle conflict, with empathy, nonviolence, and creativity.” – Johan Galtung (Sociologist, peace scholar, 1930 – present, Norway)

“Respect for the rights of others means peace.” – Benito Juàrez (Former President of Mexico, 1806 – 1872, Mexico)

“We say no to the peace that keeps us on our knees, no to the peace that keeps us in chains, no to the false peace that denies the values and contributions of our peoples.” – Rigoberta Menchu (Activist, 1953 – present, Guatemala)

“Peace is an environment where conflicts are resolved without violence, where people are free, not exploited, living so they can grow to their full potential.” – Gerard A. Vanderhaar (Writer, educator, 1931-2005, USA)

“Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold.  It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience.  Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.” – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (Religious leader, 1940 – present, Tibet)

“Peace produced by suppression is neither natural nor desirable.” – Anna Julia Cooper (Educator, activist, writer, 1858 – 1964, USA)

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (Religious leader, 1940 – present, Tibet)

“Peace as a positive condition of society, not merely as an interim between wars, is something so unknown that it casts no images on the mind’s screen.” – Denise Levertov (Poet, 1923 – 1997, England and USA)

“Peace is always beautiful.” – Walt Whitman (Poet, 1819 – 1892, USA)

“A peace that comes from fear and not from the heart is the opposite of peace.” – Gersonides (Philosopher, 1288 – 1344, France)

“Peace is the work of justice indirectly, in so far as justice removes the obstacles to peace; but it is the work of charity (love) directly, since charity, according to its very notion, causes peace.” – Thomas Aquinas (Philosopher and theologian, 1225 – 1274, Italy)

“If you want peace, work for justice.” – Pope Paul VI (Religious leader, 1897 – 1978, Italy)

“Peace is not the absence of anything. Real peace is the presence of something beautiful. Both peace and the thirst for it have been in the heart of every human being in every century and every civilization.” – Prem Rawat (Author 1957 – present, India and USA)

“Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.” – Martin Luther (Theologian, writer, 1483 – 1546, Germany)

“Peace with a club in hand is war.” – Portuguese Proverb

“Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.” – Oscar Romero (Religious leader, 1917 – 1980, El Salvador)

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X (Activist, religious leader, 1925 – 1965, USA)

“To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace.” – Publius Cornelius Tacitus (Historian, politician, 56 – 120,  Roman Empire)

“Peace is that state in which fear of any kind is unknown.” – John Buchan (Writer, historian, politician, 1875 – 1940, Scotland and Canada)

“Peace is the happy natural state of man; war is corruption and disgrace.” – James Thompson (Poet, writer, 1834 – 1881, Scotland)

“Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity of worth of cultures and peoples.” – Rigoberta Menchu (Activist, 1953 – present, Guatemala)

Linking personal peace and world peace

There are lots of quotes that link personal peace with world peace, or peace in the world around us. I put them in a separate category here from that on defining peace because I think this link is important for us to reflect on in our efforts to build a more peaceful world. Some fall into the trap of focusing solely on one of these elements and not the other whereas cultivating both simultaneously is the path we peacebuilders should all be on. The bridge between personal peace and world peace is illuminated with commentary on self-awareness, personal transformation, peaceful relationships, and compassionate action. Read these quotes and reflect on the interaction between personal peace and peace in the world around you, particularly associated with your own efforts to build peace.

“Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.” – Baruch Spinoza (Writer, philosopher, 1632 – 1677, Netherlands)

“A large part of peace is genuinely wanting peace.” – Erasmus of Rotterdam (Philosopher, theologian, 1466 – 1536, Netherlands)

“Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.” – Jawaharlal Nehru (Former Prime Minister of India, 1889 – 1964, India)

“Five enemies of peace inhabit with us–avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.” – Francesco Petrarca (Scholar and poet, 1304 – 1374, Italy)

“If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed — but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” – Mohandas Gandhi (Activist, lawyer, 1869 – 1948, India)

“Only when there are many people who are pools of peace, silence, and understanding, will war disappear.” – Osho (Philopher, religious leader, 1931 – 1990, India)

“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.” – Francis of Assisi (Religious leader, 1181 – 1226, Italy)

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” – Peace Pilgrim (Peace activist, 1908 – 1981, USA)

“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 (Religious leader, activist, author, 1959 – present, USA)

“When things are investigated, then true knowledge is achieved; when true knowledge is achieved, then the will becomes sincere; when the will is sincere, then the heart is set right (or then the mind sees right); when the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated; when the personal life is cultivated, then the family life is regulated; when the family life is regulated, then the national life is orderly; and when the national life is orderly, then there is peace in this world.” – Confucius (Philosopher, 551 – 479 BC, China)

“If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.” – Lao Tzu (Philosopher, 4th century BC, China)

“Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” – Albert Schweitzer (Theologian, humanitarian, medical doctor, 1875 – 1965, Germany and France)

“Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.” – Etty Hillesum (Author, 1914 – 1943, Netherlands)

“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa (Religious leader, 1910 – 1997, Ottoman Empire, Macedonia, India)

“First keep peace with yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.” – Thomas Kempis (Religious leader, author, 1380 – 1471, Roman Empire)

On the importance of building peace

On the urgent need to work for peace

These quotes underscore the necessity to take action to build peace. They emphasize the need to address challenges like poverty, disease, and ignorance. They describe peace as a continuous process that demands ongoing commitment. Peace is something that we need to work towards in the present and or efforts for peace can be integrated into daily life. Read these and think about how you can use what you learn to educate others about the urgent need to work for peace.

“Peace we want because there is another war to fight against poverty, disease and ignorance.” – Indira Gandhi (Former Prime Minister of India, 1917 – 1984, India)

“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 (Diplomat, activist, 1884 – 1962, USA)

“We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.” – Jimmy Carter (Former President of the United States, 1924 – present, USA)

“Peace is the only battle worth waging.” – Albert Camus (Philosopher, writer, 1913 – 1960, France)

“No one is so foolish as to prefer to peace, war, in which, instead of sons burying their fathers, fathers bury their sons.” – Croesus (King of Lydia, 7th/6th century BCE, Lydia Kingdom – present day Turkey)

“We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.” – Albert Einstein (Physicist, 1879 – 1955, Germany and USA)

“The pursuit of peace and progress cannot end in a few years in either victory or defeat. The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and errors, its successes and setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned.” – Dag Hammarskjold (Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1905 – 1961, Sweden)

“I hope…that mankind will at length, as they call themselves reasonable creatures, have reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats; for in my opinion there never was a good war, or a bad peace.” – Benjamin Franklin (Political leader, writer, inventor, 1706 – 1790, USA)

“For 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 (Diplomat, activist, 1884 – 1962, USA)

“There is no time left for anything but to make peace work a dimension of our every waking activity.” – Elise Boulding (Sociologist, peace scholar, writer, Norway and USA)

“If we are serious about peace, then we must work for it as ardently, seriously, continuously, carefully, and bravely as we have ever prepared for war.” – Wendell Berry (Writer, poet, activist, 1934 – present, USA)

“It is not enough to say ‘We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but the positive affirmation of peace.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (Religious leader, activist, 1929 – 1968, USA)

“Peace is not something you must hope for in the future. It is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present, you will never find it.” – Thomas Merton, (Religious leader, writer, activist, 1915 – 1968, France, USA)

On personal responsibility for building peace

These quotes emphasize the need for everyone to take responsibility to end war and build peace. They focus on shifting societal mindsets to promote peace, healing and community responsibility. Read these and reflect on how we can use what is learned from them to help others recognize their responsibility to create a more peaceful, just world.

“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.” – Thomas Merton (Theologian, writer, activist, 1915 – 1968, USA)

“Make peace with the universe. Take joy in it. It will turn to gold. Resurrection will be now. Every moment, a new beauty.” – Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (Poet, religious scholar, mystic, 1207 – 1273, Khwarezmian Empire and Sultanate of Rum)

“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” – Leo Tolstoy (Writer, 1828 – 1910, Russia)

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” – John Lennon (Musician, 1940 – 1980, England)

“To replace the old paradigm of war with a new paradigm of waging peace, we must be pioneers who can push the boundaries of human understanding. We must be doctors who can cure the virus of violence.  We must be soldiers of peace who can do more than preach to the choir. And we must be artists who will make the world our masterpiece.” – Paul K. Chappell (Peace activist, former soldier, 1980 – present, USA)

“Community responsibility, when it is managed well, results in peace. And peace benefits everyone. Taking care of someone or something to which you are not immediately genetically related pays you back in other dimensions, and the payback is part of your wellbeing. Compassion is useful and beneficial for all.” – Katy Payne (Zoologist, 1937 – present, USA)

“Peace hath higher tests of manhood than battle ever knew.” – John Greenleaf Whittier (Poet, activist, 1807 – 1892, USA)

“The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” – Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (Diplomat, politician, 1900 – 1990, India)

“Peace is the only battle worth waging.” – Albert Camus (Philosopher, author, 1913 – 1960, France)

“Those for whom peace is no more than a dream are asleep to the future.” – Jack DuVall (Activist, writer, media producer, 1946 – present, USA)

“We live now in a global village and we are in one single family. It’s our responsibility to bring friendship and love from all different places around the world and to live together in peace.” – Jackie Chan, (Actor, filmmaker, martial artist, 1954 – present, Hong Kong)

On building peace

On building a culture of peace

These quotes highlight different elements of a culture of peace, from education, to music, to monuments, cultural narratives, and much more. Read them and reflect on how you can use what you learn to help you in any effort you are involved in to build a culture of peace or to integrate your learning in any aspect of your life that can contribute to a culture of peace.

“We cannot have peace if we are only concerned with peace. War is not an accident. It is the logical outcome of a certain way of life. If we want to attack war, we have to attack that way of life.” – A. J. Muste (Theologian, activist, writer, 1885 – 1967, Netherlands and USA)

“Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.” – Hafsat Abiola (Activist, 1974 – present, Nigeria)

“War is not inherent in human beings. We learn war and we learn peace. The culture of peace is something which is learned, just as violence is learned and war culture is learned.” – Elise Boulding (Sociologist, author, peace scholar, 1920 – 2010, Norway and USA)

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix (Musician, 1942 – 1970, USA)

“Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread.” – Pablo Neruda (Poet, politician, 1904 – 1973, Chile)

“Ignorance is a menace to peace.” – Paul Harris (Lawyer, founder of Rotary International, 1868 – 1947, USA)

“You may call for peace as loudly as you wish, but where there is no brotherhood there can in the end be no peace.” – Max Lerner (Journalist, educator, 1902 – 1992, Russia and USA)

“If peace . . . only had the music and pageantry of war, there’d be no wars.” – Sophie Kerr (Writer, 1880 – 1965, USA)

“The strongest passions, and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.” – Alexander Hamilton (Political leader, 1755 – 1804, USA)

“Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace. Better than a thousand hollow verses is one verse that brings peace. Better than a hundred hollow lines is one line of the law, bringing peace.” – Gautama Buddha (Wandering ascetic and religious teacher, c. 5th to 4th century BC, Malla Republic)

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; until there is no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained.” – Haile Selassie Former Emperor of Ethiopia, 1892 – 1975, Ethiopia)

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is–whether its victim is human or animal–we cannot expect things to be much better in this world… We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.” – Rachel Carson (Marine biologist, writer, conservationist, 1907 – 1964, USA)

“Unless we teach children peace, someone else will teach them violence.” – Colman McCarthy (Journalist, teacher, peace activist, 1938 – present, USA)

“The opposite of war is not peace, it’s creation.” – Jonathan Larson (Composer, playwright, 1960 – 1996, USA)

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. You cannot subjugate a nation forcibly unless you wipe out every man, woman, and child. Unless you wish to use such drastic measures, you must find a way of settling your disputes without resort to arms.” – Albert Einstein (Physicist, 1879 – 1955, Germany and USA)

“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.” – Kofi Annan (Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1938 – 2018, Ghana)

“It’s odd how those who dismiss the peace movement as utopian, don’t hesitate to proffer the most absurdly dreamy reasons for going to war: to stamp out terrorism, install democracy, eliminate fascism, and most entertainingly, to rid the world of evil-doers.” – Arundhati Roy (Writer, activist, 1961 – present, India)

“A people free to choose will always choose peace.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon (Musician, activist, 1942 – present, USA)

“Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.” – George Carlin (Comedian, 1937 – 2008, USA)

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” – Maria Montessori (Physician, educator, 1870 – 1952, Italy)

“We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.” – William Ellery Channing (Theologian, 1780 – 1842, USA)

“War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace.” – Norman Cousins (Journalist, author, peace activist, 1915 – 1990, USA)

“Peace has its victories no less than war, but it doesn’t have as many monuments to unveil.” – Kin Hubbard (Cartoonist, journalist, 1868 – 1930, USA)

“The social progress, order, security and peace of each country are necessarily connected with the social progress, order, security and peace of all other countries.” – Pope John XXIII (Religious leader, 1881 – 1963, Italy)

“War will stop when we no longer praise it, or give it any attention at all. Peace will come wherever it is sincerely invited.” – Alice Walker (Writer, poet, activist, 1944 – present, USA)

On building peace infrastructure

These quotes comment on elements of our society, systems and structures that are needed to build a peaceful world. They highlight the need to shift the organization of our society from militarism towards the promotion of human needs. Read these and reflect on what system, structure and/or policy change you can advocate for that will build a more peaceful world.

“We must devise a system in which peace is more rewarding than war.” – Margaret Mead (Anthropologist, 1901 – 1978, USA)

“You are not going to get peace with millions of armed men. The chariot of peace cannot advance over a road littered with cannon.” – David Lloyd (Comic artist, 1950 – present, England)

“To preserve peace, we need weapons of smaller and men of larger caliber.” – Unknown author

“Peace begins when the hungry are fed.” – Unknown author

“Peace, to have meaning for many who have only known suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health and education, as well as freedom and human dignity.” – Ralph Bunche (Political scientist, activist, 1904 – 1971, USA)

“A treaty of Peace may, indeed, put an end to a particular war, yet not to the general condition of war, in which a pretext can always be found for new hostilities.” – Immanuel Kant (Philosopher, 1724 – 1804, Kingdom of Prussia)

“I went into the Army believing that if you want peace you must prepare for war. I now believe that if you prepare thoroughly for war you will get it.” – Sir John Frederick Maurice (Military general, 1842 – 1912, England)

“Peace is a practical positive policy, which must be attained by friendly co-operation between the nations, putting the good of all before the interests of each.” – Anna Ruth Fry (Writer, peace activist, 1878 – 1962, England)

“If development is the new name for peace, war and preparations for war are the major enemy of the healthy development of peoples. If we take the common good of all humanity as our norm, instead of individual greed, peace would be possible.” – Pope John Paul II (Religious leader, 1920 – 2005, Poland and Italy)

“To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words and a despicable form of warmongering. The objective of any who sincerely believe in peace clearly must be to exhaust every honorable recourse in the effort to save the peace. The world has had ample evidence that war begets only conditions that beget further war.” – Ralph Bunche (Diplomat, activist, mediator, 1904 – 1971, USA)

“The pens which write against disarmament are made with the same steel from which guns are made.” – Aristide Briand (Former Prime Minister of France, 1862 – 1932, France)

“We know how to organize warfare, but do we know how to act when confronted with peace?” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau (Oceanographer, filmmaker, writer, 1910 – 1997, French)

“The way in which we can promote peace, is by promoting sustainable management of our resources, equitable distribution of these resources, and that the only way you can actually do that, is that then you have to have a political, economic system that facilitates that.” – Wangari Maathai (Activist, conservationist, 1940 – 2011, Kenya)

“To have peace and not war, the drift toward a war economy, as facilitated by the moves and the demands of the sophisticated conservatives, must be stopped; to have peace without slump, the tactics and policies of the practical right must be overcome. The political and economic power of both must be broken.” – C. Wright Mills (Sociologist, author, 1916 – 1962, USA)

On peacebuilding and peace processes

These quotes comment on other aspects of peacebuilding and peace processes. I hope that in them you can find some inspiration and creative ideas that you can integrate into your efforts to build peace. Read them over and see if you find something useful.

“Peace is not the product of a victory or a command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement. Peace is a never-ending process, the work of many decisions.” – Oscar Arias (Former President of Costa Rica, 1940 – present, Costa Rica)

“Building peace is more often about creating space, developing relationships, persevering in spite of overwhelming pessimism, and being flexible enough to respond to emerging opportunities, meager as they may be.” – John Paul Lederach (Peace scholar, writer, 1955 – present, USA)

“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” – A.J. Muste (Theologian, activist, writer, 1885 – 1967, Netherlands and USA)

“The road to peace is paved with dignity.” – Donna Hicks (Educator, writer, USA)

“The beauty of peace is in trying to find solutions together.” – Dekha Ibrahim Abdi (Activist, NGO worker, 1964 – 2011, Kenya)

“To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” – Sun Tzu (Military strategist, philosopher, 544 BC – 496 BC, China)

“I’m not disturbing the peace. I’m disturbing the war.” – Ammon Ashford Hennacy (Activist, 1893 – 1970, USA)

“Peace is something you make with your adversaries, not with your friends.” – Johan Galtung (Sociologist, peace scholar, 1930 – present, Norway)

“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” – Abraham Lincoln (Former President of the United States, 1809 – 1865, USA)

“In settings of deep conflict, words and promises do not constitute an adequate measure that genuine change has taken place. People’s actions, attitudes, and behavior do.” – John Paul Lederach (Peace scholar, writer, 1955 – present, USA)

“Peace cannot be bullied into existence.” – Ali Jarbawi (Political leader, professor, writer, 1954 – present, Palestine)

“Without deep listening and gentle loving speech it is very difficult to move towards peace. Peace will only become a reality, when world leaders come to negotiations with the ability to hear the suffering at the root of all conflicts.” – Thich Nhat Hanh (Religious leader, writer, activist, 1926, Vietnam)

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” – Nelson Mandela, (Political leader, activist, lawyer, 1918 – 2013, South Africa)


I hope you enjoyed looking over this collection of quotes. I hope you found some inspiration, something to get you thinking about the nature of peace. And perhaps you have found ideas you can use in any effort to build peace.

Are there any great quotes you know that I missed? I’d love to get some new ones. Drop any new quotes on these topics in the comments.

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