“Perhaps peace is not, after all, something you work for, or ‘fight for.’ It is indeed ‘fighting for peace’ that starts all the wars. What, after all, are the pretexts of all these Cold War crises, but ‘fighting for peace?’ Peace is something you have or do not have. If you are yourself at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world. Then share your peace with everyone, and everyone will be at peace.” —Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

“In the 60s we fought for peace, when the Vietnam war was on. We were against the cops and against the politicians and there was a lot of waving banners and all that. And I think in a way, just as they were enjoying that machoism of war, we were enjoying the machismo of being anti-war, you know? So I thought, not this time, it’s too complicated a situation. We cannot enjoy the machoism of fighting for peace.” —Yoko Ono

“Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.” —George Carlin

“Let us face squarely the paradox that the world which goes to war is a world, usually genuinely desiring peace. War is the outcome, not mainly of evil intentions, but on the whole of good intentions which miscarry or are frustrated. It is made not usually by evil men knowing themselves to be wrong, but is the outcome of policies pursued by good men usually passionately convinced that they are right.” —Norman Angell

“Warmaking doesn’t stop warmaking. If it did, our problems would have stopped millennia ago.” —Colman McCarthy

In the name of peace
They waged the wars
Ain’t they got no shame

—Nikki Giovanni


From Peace Seeds:

He should not wish for others that which he doth not wish for himself, nor promise that which he doth not fulfill.

Baha’i Faith, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 266

Hurt not others in ways you find hurtful.

Buddhism, Tripitaka, Udnana-varga 5.18

Therefore all things whatsoever you desire that men should do to you, do you evenso unto them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Christianity, Matthew 7:12

Tzu-Kung asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s whole life may proceed?” The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle? …what you do not yourself desire, do not put before others.”

Confucianism, Analects of Confucius
Book XV, Chapter XXIIl (Legge Translation 1861)

Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.

Confucianism, Mencius VII.A.4

This is the sum of the Dharma: do not unto others that which would cause pain if done to you.

Hinduism, Mahabharata 5:1517

Not one of you is a believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.

Islam, Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 13

What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.

Judaism, Talmud, Shabbat 31a

A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.

Jainism, Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.

Native American, Black Elk

The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.

Taoism, Tao Teh Ching, Chapter 49

An it harms none, do as ‘ye will.


That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.

Zorastrianism, Zend Avesta, Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5