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Betty Williams

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Betty Williams,with Mairead Corrigan Maguire, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for their work to bring peace to Northern Ireland. She says, "The Nobel Peace Prize is not awarded for what one has done, but hopefully what one will do." In the 31 years since receiving the award, Williams has devoted her life to relieving the suffering of the world’s children. She founded the Global Children’s Studies Center in 1992. This evolved into founding the World Centers of Compassion for Children International in 1997, in honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who serves on the advisory board. www.centersofcompassion.org

I believe we have to be as dedicated to the cause of peace, as any army would be to the cause of war.

The Dalai Lama and I have many good laughs together – he’s a scream, he loves a good laugh! …That’s one thing in peace work which I think is absolutely essential – you have to have a sense of humor….We see suffering beyond belief, and you take it to bed it with you...and if I didn’t have a sense of humor, I don’t think I’d survive this, you know?

[on the violence going on in the world in the name of the religion] I’m sure it’s got nothing to do with God, you know? If we’re trying to talk about God, get the name God out of war! It doesn’t belong there!…

It says clearly and distinctly, “Thou shalt not kill.” Have any of you ever found any “ie”s in there?

I’d love to see a woman in office in the United States of America. However, the term woman comes first. Not one of the boys. I think Hillary has to remove herself from being one of the boys. And that’s the message you’re going to have to give her. To me, to stand for what’s right – it doesn’t matter if she loses the election or not.

But she will have much more of chance of winning the election if she stands up in the name of womanhood and says “I’m going to change my country for the better” Because you know something? On 9/11, the day that will go down in infamy, in New York City, when 3,000 people lost their lives, on that same day, 35,615 children died in our world from conditions of malnutrition, and nobody said a word. Hillary Clinton should be addressing the issues of 14 million hungry children in the United States of America.

If you really are an American, take your country back.

Our universities, particularly in the United States, we turn out products, not whole human beings, and part of the job we all have to do, is to change that. I actually think there should be departments of peace studies in every university.

I try to center myself to do the best job that I can for the work that I do, for the women that I love, and the children that we’re going to change the world for.

Let me tell you something girls – you are going to have to stop knifing each other in the back. Women are terrible with that!

It really doesn’t matter how little you do, because small can and is beautiful. As Jody said yesterday, even if you only give one hour a month to a cause, it’s one hour a month you’re not doing now.

And I don’t think I’m any more important than any other woman in this room, but the one thing that we do have connected, is the womb thing. It’s a womb thing. We have got to protect the fruit of the womb. I figure if God had wanted men to procreate she would have gave him a womb wouldn’t she?

Every little act of kindness, every little act of justice, and every little act of love, never goes amiss. Never ever.

I am working with a few scientists in Italy, and we are going to highlight and shame scientists who get involved in the work of death and destruction.

I get a lot of hugs. I need this kind of sustenance. And I certainly need to know when I leave a place like this and I’m on my own again, that I have women like you who are with me, both in my heart, and my spirit, and most definitely in my head – that’s what gives me hope.

Interview with Betty Williams

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