Peace for our Children

Standard

 

Together

Thomas Paine lived up to his name – at least, that is what many thought in the late 1700’s.  He was an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. It seems our century does not have the monopoly on bold individuals who are determined to support human rights initiatives. Born in Thetford, England, Thomas Paine immigrated, with the help of Benjamin Franklin, to the British American colonies in 1774.

Thomas Paine looked toward the future when he penned the pamphlet, Common Sense, which would inspire the American patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain.  Even in our era of immediate communication, the dissemination of the message is impressive.  In three months, 100,000 (or 500,000 copies, if you included the pirated editions), were circulated throughout the American British Colonies.  Thomas Paine put forward ideas on human rights that stirred a nation.  His reasons for writing can be summed up in one sentence.

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”

Thomas Paine

An Activist on Peace

Standard

Peace on Earth

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement.  He was strongly influenced by Howard Thurman, an educator and civil rights leader who had met and conferred with Mahatma Ghandi in earlier years.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was inspired by Gandhi’s approach to seeking peaceful solutions via non-violent means.

Martin Luther King, Jr. used non-violence to combat racial inequality, poverty, and the Vietnam War.  His message – harmony could only be achieved through peaceful endeavours.  With all his heart, he believed peace could be a reality – it was within reach.

Peace on earth begins with unarmed truth and unconditional love.