Thursday, January 15, 2009

Peace Pilgrim

Peace Pilgrim (1908-1981) was a woman who walked from coast to coast for several years in the US during the sixties and seventies, promoting peace. She only ate, or slept in a bed for the night - if it was offered to her. Otherwise she did without and never asked.

Her message to all the people she met, was:

"This is the way of peace:
Overcome evil with good,
and falsehood with truth,
and hatred with love."

Even though this is a one hour documentary it is well worth watching. Many well known people like the Dalai Lama, Mary Angelou, and famous authors comment on Peace Pilgrim's life and teaching, and there are great clips of JFK and other old TV moments.

She said that the world is divided into two kinds of people. Those who feel that evil needs to be overcome with evil, and those who feel evil needs to be overcome with love and compassion. In other words - even if we ourselves already live peacefully - when threatened or attacked, instead of just wondering whether "to fight back or not to fight back", we should not only consider not to fight back, but go even another step further and respond with kindness.

Her message is a strong one, especially since she - literally - walked her talk. Her teachings have survived her and are available on the Peace Pilgrim Center website.

No comments: