the state of the Middle East, it seemed
apt to offer a collection of quotations
on peace. But first, I thought, it might
be wise to attempt to define what is meant
by peace. Pardon my quoting a man, but Rabbi
Benjamin Blech, the author of Understanding
Judaism as well as many other books,
has written, "Whenever Jews meet or
depart from each other they say the word
shalom. It means "peace," but
can also mean "hello" and "goodbye."
It is the ultimate prayer. Peace between
nations. Peace within families. Peace of
mind and serenity within oneself. "
Many times it has occurred to me that the
opposite of love is not hate but indifference.
Thinking about peace, I've come to the same
conclusion: its opposite is not war but
indifference. As Ursula LeGuin has written,
"Love doesn't just sit there, like
a stone, it has to be made, like bread;
re-made all the time, made new." Peace,
like love, is a process. It has to be made
all the time. Among nations, between family
members, within oneself.
To me, peace is the visceral sensation of
balance and harmony, the daily mantra I
recite for myself, for my family, for my
friends, for all peoples of the world.
And so to you, dear readers, I say, shalom.
- In sisterhood, Elaine
Bernstein Partnow, Editor
QUOTATIONS ON PEACE
The price of peace is to abandon fear and
replace it with faith -- faith that if we
obey God's laws we will receive God's blessing.
The price of peace is to abandon hate and
allow love to reign supreme in our hearts
-- love for all our fellow human beings
over the world. The price of peace is to
abandon arrogance and replace it with repentance
and humility, remembering that the way of
peace is the way of love. The price of peace
is to abandon greed and replace it with
giving, so that none will be spiritually
injured by having more than they need while
others in the world still have less than
Peace Pilgrim (1908-1981), American
pacifist, walker, philosopher, Peace
Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words
This is the way of peace -- overcome evil
with good, and falsehood with truth, and
hatred with love.
We seem always ready to pay the price for
war. Almost gladly we give our time and
our treasures -- our limbs and even our
lives -- for war. But we expect to get peace
Women have a great responsibility. . .to
try. . .to prevent another war. I hope.
. .that we will be able to use this great
[atomic] energy. . .for peaceful work.
Lise Meitner (1878-1968), Austrian/German
physicist, physics educator; fled from Nazis
to Sweden in 1938; moved to England (1966);
Germany's first woman full physics professor;
co-discovered, with Otto Hahn, proctactinium;
Enrico Fermi Award, 1966. Quoted in Twentieth-Century
Women Scientists by Lisa Yount (1996).
. . .I am weary of them that hate peace.
Jemima Wilkinson (1752-1819), American
religious leader; a.k.a. the Publick Universal
Friend; founded the Jerusalem Township,
New York, 1794. Quoted in Pioneer Prophetess
by Herbert A. Wisbey, Jr. (1964).
The only alternative to war is peace and
the only road to peace is negotiations.
Golda Meir (1898-1978), American/Israeli
politician; Israel's first minister of labor,
1949-56; foreign minister, 1956-66 and prime
minister, 1969-74. Quoted in Twentieth-Century
Women Political Leaders by Claire Price-Groff
We desire nothing more than peace, but
we cannot equate peace merely with an apathetic
readiness to be destroyed.
If hostile forces gather for our proposed
destruction, they must not demand that we
provide them with ideal conditions for the
realization of their plans. . . . The concept
of annihilating Israel is a legacy of Hitler's
war against the Jewish people, and it is
no mere coincidence that the soldiers of
Nasser had an Arabic translation of MORE
Op. Cit. ,"The Israeli Action in Sinai:
1956" statement, General Assembly of
United Nations (5 December 1956).
Peace, she supposed, was contingent upon
a certain disposition of the soul, a disposition
to receive the gift that only detachment
from self made possible.
Elizabeth Goudge (1900-1984), English/American
writer. The Child from the Sea, 1970
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 (1884-1962), American
lecturer, humanitarian, First Lady, government
official, writer; wife of Franklin D. R-
(1882-1945, politician; 32nd U.S. President,
1933-45); niece of Theodore R- (1858-1919;
war hero, politician; 26th U.S. president,
1901-09); U.S. delegate to United Nations,
1945-53, 1961; United Nations Prize, 1968.
Broadcast, Voice of America, 11 November
Perhaps in His wisdom the Almighty is trying
to show us that a leader may chart the way,
may point out the road to lasting peace,
but that many leaders and many peoples must
do the building.
Op. Cit., Syndicated Newspaper Column (6
It seems to me . . . we have reached a
place where it is not a question of Acan
we live in the same world and [email protected]
but Awe must live in the same world and
learn to [email protected]
Op. Cit., Quoted in Eleanor: The Years
Alone by Joseph P. Lash (1972).
This I know. This I believe with all my
heart. If we want a free and peaceful world,
if we want to make the deserts bloom and
man grow to greater dignity as a human being
-- we can do it!
Op. Cit., Tomorrow is Now (1963).
High above hate I dwell,/
O storms! Farewell.
Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920),
American/English writer, poet. "The
You cannot shake hands with a clenched
Indira Gandhi (1917-1984), Indian
politician, leader, political; daughter
of Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964; Indian prime
minister, 1947-64, assassinated); president,
National Congress Party, 1959-60; minister
of information, 1964; prime minister, 1966-77,
1980-84; first woman prime minister of India;
assassinated. Quoted in Indira Speaks by
Dhiren Mullick (1972).
There are many kinds of wars. One war
has just ended but I do not know if peace
Peace we want because there is another
war to fight against poverty, disease and
ignorance. We have promises to keep to our
people of work, food, clothing, and shelter,
health and education.
Op. Cit., Quoted in Indira Gandhi
by Mithrapuram K. Alexander (1968).
The world would have peace if the men
of politics would only follow the Gospel.
Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), a.s.a.
Brigit, Birgitta, Brigitta, a.k.a. Sibyl
of the North; Swedish mystic, author, nun;
d. Sir Birger, w. Prince Ulf Gudmarsson
of Nericia, m. St. Katherine of Sweden;
founded religious order of the Bridgettines;
her vision of the nativity supplanted the
accepted Pseudo-Bonaventura version and
influenced Western art, music, and literature.
Quoted in Revelations by Anthony
I would like to be deaf to the world's
to hear with a clear fully absorbed mind,
that lofty angelic music -- sweet notes
tell us that real peace belongs to real
Vittoria da Colonna , a.k.a. marchesa
de Pescara (1492-1547/9), Italian poet;
d. Fabrizio C- (d. 1520; Roman noble), w.
Ferrante Francesco d'Avalos, friend of Michelangelo
(1475-1564; Ital. sculptor, painter, poet).
Amaro Lagrimar, The Sonnets of Vittoria
Colonna, Ellen Moody, tr., 1999
There cannot be peaceful coexistence in
the ideological realm. Peaceful coexistence
Jiang Ching (1914-1991), Chinese
public official; w. Mao Tse-tung (founder,
People's Republic of China, 1892- 1976).
Quoted in Mao and China: From Revolution
to Revolution by Stanley Karnow (1972).
. . .when care-dispelling peace has returned,
forgetful of labour, commons and fathers
together lie buried in lethargic sleep.
Sulpicia, a.k.a. the Roman Sappho
(80?-99 C.E.), Roman poet. Satire
(ca. 90 C.E.).
Everything I have ever written or hoped
to write is dedicated. . .to our hope of
peace and dignity and freedom in the world,
not just as black people, or as Negroes,
but as free human beings in a world community.
Margaret Walker , a.s.a. M- W- Alexander
(1915- ), African-American educator, poet,
novelist. Quoted in By a Woman Writt
Joan Goulianos, ed. (1974).
Let a new earth rise. Let another world
born. Let a bloody/
peace be written in the sky. Let a second/
full of courage issue forth;/
let a people loving free --/
dom come to growth./
Op. Cit., For My People, 1942
My comments to the thousands of persons
at the peace march [the 1971 Another Mother
for Peace march in Los Angeles] were directed
not just against the Vietnam War, but against
all war, against the masculine mystique
which glorifies violence as a solution to
problems, and against the vast diverting
of American energies and resources from
socially needed programs into social destructive
Aileen Clarke Hernandez (1926- ),
American business executive, feminist, public
affairs counselor; president of NOW, 1970-71.
Quoted in the NOW Newsletter (29
We could have peace in one year if women
Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), American
politician, suffragist, pacifist; U.S. Congresswoman
(R-Montana), 1917-1919 and 1941-1943; first
woman elected to U.S. Congress or to any
national government; cofounder, Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom
(WILPF), 1918; NOW Susan B. Anthony Hall
of Fame, 1972; only person in Congressional
history to vote against U.S. entry into
World Wars I and II. Quoted in Women
Suffragists by Diana Star Helmer (1998
. . . humanity is still far from that
stage of maturity needed for the realizations
of its aspiration, for the construction,
that is, of a harmonious and peaceful society
and the elimination of wars. Men are not
yet ready to shape their own destinies,
to control and direct world events, of which
-- instead -- they become the victims.
Maria Montessori (1870-1952), Italian
physician, educator, writer; originator
of Montessori Method of education; first
Italian woman to receive M.D. from University
of Rome. The Absorbent Mind (1967).
My soul. . .can see no other remedy pleasing
to God than peace. Peace, peace, therefore,
for the love of Christ
Catherine of Siena (1347-1380),
Italian mystic, diplomat; patron saint of
the Dominicans. Quoted in Catherine of
Siena: Fire and Blood by Igino Girodani;
Thomas J. Tobin, tr. (1959).
This place is peace and would be silent
peace were it not for an Eisteddfod of small
birds outvying each other with an eagerness
which cannot wait until the last candidate
Margaret Fairless Barber, pseud.
Michael Fairless (1869-1901), English writer.
The Complete Works of Michael Fairless
And yield the torn world to the angel of
Lydia Howard Sigourney (1791-1865),
American magazine editor, author, poet,
teacher. Select Poems (1841).
We will try to be holy,/
We will try to repair the world given to
us to hand on./
Precious is this treasure of words and knowledge
that moves inside us./
Holy is the hand that works for peace and
holy is the mouth that speaks for goodness/
holy is the foot that walks toward mercy.
Marge Piercy (1936- ), American editor,
magazine, poet, feminist, novelist, writer;
founder of Movement for a Democratic Society
(MDS). The Art of Blessing the Day
They have not wanted Peace at all; they
have wanted to be spared war -- as though
the absence of war was the same as peace.
Dorothy Thompson (1894-1961), American
writer, journalist; ex-w. Sinclair Lewis
(1885-1951, novelist). On the Record
Whenever we experience happiness and peace
in our natures, we are at the gate where
the medicines of joy, laughter, play, fun,
and humor flourish.
Angeles Arrien (1940- ), American
consultant, corporate, anthropologist, educator,
nonfiction writer; founder, Angeles Arrien
Foundation For Cross Cultural Education
and Research. The Fabric of the Future:
Women Visionaries of Today Illuminate the
Path to Tomorrow, M.J. Ryan, ed. (1998).
It is wise statesmanship which suggests
that in times of peace we must prepare for
war, and it is no less wise benevolence
that makes preparation in the hour of peace
for assuaging the ills that are sure to
Clara Barton, a.k.a. "The Angel
of the Battlefield" (1821-1912), American
writer, nurse; founder of the American Red
Cross; Hall of Fame, 1976. The Red Cross
Domestic peace! best joy of earth,/
When shall we all thy value learn?
Anne Brontë, pseud. Acton Bell,
Alexander Hybernia (1820-1849), English
poet, novelist; sister Charlotte B-* and
Emily B-*. The Complete Poems of Anne
Brontë, Clement Shorter, ed. (1920).
. . .the task of women and men who do not
bear arms. . .is to fight for peace. . .do
your part, for God's sake. As for me I will
d'Albret (1528-1572), French royalty.
Quoted in Queen of Navarre: Jeanne
d'Albret by Nancy Lyman Roelker (1968).
O I know they make war because they want
peace; they hate so that they may live;
and they destroy the present to make the
world safe for the future. When have they
not done and said they did it for that?
Elizabeth Smart (1913-1986), Canadian
poet, author. Necessary Secrets,
Alice Van Wart, ed. (1991).
. . .there is a god of battle as well as
a God of peace. . .
Margaret Morris (1737?-1816), American
healer, diarist. Quoted in The Women
of the American Revolution, vol II,
by Elizabeth F. Ellet (1848).
. . . a people's peace -- a peace without
victory, a peace without conquests or indemnities.
Helen Keller (1880-1968), American
deaf & blind lecturer, writer; Presidential
Medal of Freedom, 1964. The Story of
My Life (1903).
. . .the Lovedu* believe that only a fool
fails to find peaceable compromise, and
only the truly stupid come to blows. Compromise,
appeasement, reconciliation, tolerance,
peace. The great ideals of Lovedu culture.
Ann Jones (1937- ), American nonfiction
writer. "Finding the Lovedu",
The Women's Review of Books, Vol.
XV, No. 5 (February 1998).
* A Southern African people.
It is within the families themselves where
peace can begin. If families can learn to
respect their members, and deal with conflict
resolution, that would be the first step
to keeping peace on a global level.
Susan Partnow (1947- ), American
consultant, conflict management & organizational
training, peace activist, speech therapist,
author; sister, Elaine P-, author. Puget
Sound Consumers Coop Newsletter (Spring
We discovered that peace at any price is
no peace at all. . . . We discovered that
life at any price has no value whatever;
that life is nothing without the privileges,
the prides, the rights, the joys which make
it worth living, and also worth giving.
And we also discovered that there is something
more hideous, more atrocious than war or
Eve Curie (1904- ), French/American
writer, pianist, lecturer, war correspondent;
daugher, Pierre Pierre (1859-1906; physical
chemist) and Marie C-*; sister, Iréne
Joliot-C-*. Address, American Booksellers
Association, New York (9 April 1940).
I shall not hold my little peace; for me/
There is no peace but one.
Alice Christiana Meynell (1845/47-1922),
English poet, literary critic,"The
Poet to the Birds", N.D.
The peace crusade is going to take a long
time. I will devote the rest of my life
to world peace, but that will not be long
enough. I will encourage others to carry
on the work when I am done.
Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), American
poet, women's rights activist, civil rights
activist, suffragist, lecturer, writer,
social reformer; founder, Mother's Day (orig.
2 June 1872), as a peace day; founder, Girl
Scouts of America. Seattle Times,
A8 (4 July 1992).
CRUSTY CROWBAR. I too am almost sick of
Of honours purchas'd at the price of peace.
Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1758), American
historian, playwright, poet; sister, James
Otis (1725-83; Revolution leader, publicist),
wife, Gen. James W- (member, Massachusetts
legislature). The Group (1775).
The mind should be at peace but the heart
debauches it perpetually.
Marie de Sévigné (1626-1696),
French salonist, letter writer; wife, Marquis
Henri de S-, mother, Comtesse Françoise
Grignan. Letters of Madame de Sévigné
to Her Daughter and Friends (1811).
A disturber of the peace, am I? Yes indeed,
of my own peace. Do you call this disturbing
the peace? . . .Instead of spending my time
in frivolous amusements, I have visited
the plague-infested and carried out the
Katherine Zell, a.k.a. Katharina
Schutzinn (1497-98-1562), German hymnist,
reformer, activist, religious; wife, Matthew
Z- (Protestant minister). Letter to the
city of Strasbourg (1557).
Radio, sewing machine, bookends, ironing
board and that great big piano lamp -- peace,
that's what I like. Butterbean vines planted
all along the front where the strings are.
Eudora Welty (1909-2001), American
writer, photographer; Pulitzer, 1973; Presidential
Medal of Freedom, 1980; American Booksellers
Association Award, 1981, 1984; National
Institute of Arts and Letters Award, 1972.
A Curtain of Green and Other Stories
The first step in the direction of a world
rule of law is the recognition that peace
no longer is an unobtainable ideal but a
necessary condition of continued human existence.
Margaret Mead (1901-1977), American
editor, museum curator, writer, scientist,
anthropology; wife, Gregory Bateson (1904-80,
anthropologist), daughter, Mary Catherine
Bateson and Edward Sherwood C; Presidential
Medal of Freedom, 1979. New York Times
Magazine (26 November 1961).
TILLERTON. And I wonder if peace is enough
for any man. . . .
Zoë Akins (1886-1958), American
playwright, screenwriter, writer, poet;
26 November 1961. Greatness (1922).
If peace, he thought (as he had often thought
before), only had the music and pageantry
of war, there'd be no more wars.
Sophie Kerr (1880-1965), American
writer. The Man Who Knew the Date
Her father said, "You know, my dears,
the world has been abnormal for so long
that we've forgotten what it's like to live
in a peaceful and reasonable climate. If
there is to be any peace or reason, we have
to create it in our own hearts and homes.
Madeleine L'Engle (1918- ), American
children's writer. A Swiftly Tilting
Years when the enemy is in our state,/
and liberty, safe in the people's hands,/
is never safe and peace is never safe./
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), American
biographer, writer, civil rights activist,
poet, translator, film editor; National
Institute of Arts and Letters, 1942; American
Academy of Arts and Letters, 1942. Waterlily
Fire (1935-1962) (1962).
There is no such thing as inner peace.
There is only nervousness or death. Any
attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior.
Fran Lebowitz (1951- ), American
humorist, journalist. Metropolitan Life
It's ironic, but until you can free those
final monsters within the jungle of yourself,
your life, your soul is up for grabs.
Rona Barrett (1938- ), American columnist,
television personality. Miss Rona: An
to "Women of Wisdom" Main Page
Bernstein Partnow is the editor
of "Women of Wisdom," and she is a perfect
fit for this task. Compiler of the noted
Quotable Woman, The First 5,000 Years,
Elaine started working on the first edition,
way back in 1974, she was making the transition
from actor to writer. Now in its 5th edition.
Quotable Woman has become the standard
book of quotations for women's studies programs
and organizations all over the English-speaking
world. She also wrote The
Female Dramatist a few years back, and
has just came out with a new collection,
Quotable Jewish Woman, Wisdom, Inspiration
and Humor from the Mind and Heart. Elaine
has marveled at how her work in women's
history has changed who she is and how she
is. Ever eager to share that experience
with others, she merged her two passions
- acting and women's studies - and began,
in 1984, to present living history portraits
of notable women to civic and educational
institutions. To date she has given more
than 400 such presentations to upwards of
50,000 people, not only across the U.S.A.,
but in Mexico and even China! You can find
out more about Elaine by visiting her web