I believe that there can be a peace throughout the entire world. I believe that in my lifetime we can put an end to war; not a temporary end, but a permanent one. I believe that in the vicissitudes of philosophy, that in the ever-changing approaches we as humans have taken to rule one another to lead one another as nations, as subjects, we have overlooked some basic truths.
We have failed to see that there is but one form of government that has no limit to its authority, nor restraint to its influence and scope and that form of government is fear. War exists and war continues to exist because we are afraid. We are afraid of running out of oil and natural resources. We are afraid of the spread of other ideas. We are afraid that our neighbor will infect us with the disease of his ideology or the plague of his way of life. We are afraid of ever standing still so we attack.
We attack to prevent, we attack to punish, we attack to compel peace. But we need not attack and a time will come if we do not correct our current course when there will be no recourse for the mistakes we go on making. My brothers and sisters, if we do not check our compasses and steer ourselves on a more logical line, then a day will surely arrive when the resources we kill for, when the power and money and strategic position both intangible and real, when the fear of being inferior, when the false need for objects of desire, when the fear of skin of a different color will lead us to kill the last woman, the final wellspring of life. And when the last woman dies so shall the last man and it will all have been for nought; all we have done and built and dreamt and felt; all we have been and brought upon this beautiful world. On that day we will become mere remnants of history and no longer partners in it. But that day need not arrive and we need not live in fear.
We need not build weapons of mass destruction, machines which have one purpose alone, the destruction of our fellow man. We need not pursue military solutions which are no solutions at all and never could be. We must all take a moment to think, to consider the cost of killing, the cost of attacking people we have never met for reasons we often do not fully understand. We must work with the misguided leaders and followers of the world to forge real solutions and better, more reasonable ways of settling disputes. We must encourage through education and scholarship, through art, design and science, the creation of a world where we do not fear each other, or hate each other or consider the opinions of another to be without validity simply because their government is not as our own. We must reshape the very societies in which we live. We must bring about a sweeping change in these societies, a change of mind and a change of heart.
Each day when we rise from the soft beds of our gain or the hard beds of our loss we must look at our hands and promise to build something with them. We must greet each day without thought of one-upsmanship or defeat, without fantasy of conquest or dominance without a lust for power or a thirst for blood. Let our thirst be for water and our appetites be for the food we have grown. Let that thirst be slaked by a full cup of courage and that hunger be satisfied by faith. Let us stand up, join hands, bow our heads and pray. But let us not pray to be saved, let us pray to find the strength to save ourselves. Let us pray to find within our hearts, within the very marrow of our beings the solidarity that each of us from time to time gets a sense of and join together with one goal underlying all others. Let that goal be peace.
I believe there can be peace in my time. I believe we can make it happen. I believe in you.
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