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Acting for Others: The Voice of Twelve Nobel Laureates for Peace Arthur Zajonc Amherst College PeaceJam Started 10 years ago… 12 Nobel laureates with high school aged youth 12 curricula to promote peace, human rights, environmental sanity, arms control, … 200 at a time, 200,000 total

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Acting for Others:The Voice of Twelve Nobel Laureates for Peace

Arthur Zajonc

Amherst College


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PeaceJam

  • Started 10 years ago…

  • 12 Nobel laureates with high school aged youth

  • 12 curricula to promote peace, human rights, environmental sanity, arms control, …

  • 200 at a time, 200,000 total

  • International: US, Costa Rica, South Africa, India, Italy,…





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From the interviews

  • Root sources of conflict and wellsprings of healing.

  • Community and interdependence of people and planet.

  • The power of nonviolence

  • The spiritual transformation as the basis for compassionate living.


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Root sources of suffering…

  • Aung San Suu Kyi: “I don’t think that there is such a thing as evil, but I think there is such a thing as ignorance…”

    “So one would say that they have no inner confidence, no inner serenity. It's a lack of spiritual development.”

    “It is not power

    that corrupts but fear…”


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Root sources of suffering…

  • Dalai Lama: “"I believe that suffering is caused by ignorance, and that people inflict pain on others in pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction...”


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Root sources of suffering…

  • Shirin Ebadi: “If we would do away with ignorance and prejudice, I believe we can solve many of our problems.”

  • Jody Williams: “Well, I think it’s greed. I think it’s lust for power…. Ignorance. Willful ignorance, I think, is one of the biggest threats to our future.”


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Overcoming fear

  • Shirin Ebadi:

    “Any person who pursues human rights in Iran must live with fear from birth to death, but I have learned to overcome my fear”


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Give up fear for love

  • Mairead Corrigan Maguire:

    “Don’t be afraid! Give up your fear…”

    “I would say to young people today, …”


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Security through community

  • Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead

    “I feel that the safety of mankind begins in the community…”

    Mairead

    “I agree with you that security really starts within the community, within the family.”

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

From a living room dialogue


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Education for peace

  • Oscar Arias

    “Education… must shape the attitudes and beliefs essential to ensure the benevolent application of that knowledge.”

  • Adolfo

    “When one speaks of disarming consciousness, of ridding consciousness of violence, it has to start from childhood up to adulthood.”


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Women and participation

  • Rigoberta Menchú Tum

    “I believe that participation is very important…”

  • Shirin Ebadi

    “I see the entire world as a theater. The women were always behind the scene,…”


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Spiritual Change

  • Mairead: “A positive approach to change gives us the confidence in ourselves…”

    “the shift in consciousness must be from the excuses we make for the use of violence,…”


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Even forgiveness

  • Desmond Tutu: the story of Fulbright scholar and anti-apartheid activist, Amy Biehl …


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Sounding one’s spiritual depth

  • ASSK: ““The man stripped of all props except that of his spirit is sounding…”

  • “Of the words of wisdom I gathered during that journey across central Burma, those of a ninety-one-year-old Hsayadaw of Sagaing are particularly memorable…”

  • “Some have questioned the appropriateness of talking about such matters a metta (loving-kindness) and thissa (truth) in the political context.


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Revolution of spirit needed

  • ASSK: “The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation’s development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative…”


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Easter in “the pipe”

  • Adolfo Pérez Esquivel: “I was arrested on April 4—the Monday of Holy Week. It was the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., too. So I had quite a special Holy Week that year….”

  • St John of the Cross: “In the evening of your life you’ll be judged on your love.”


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God in me and in you

  • Wangari Maathai: I don't really know why I care so much. I just have something inside me that tells me that there is a problem, …


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Indigenous Spirituality

  • Rigoberta: “But also, spirituality is a personal attitude of human beings, and that’s the reason why women need to spend a lot of time with their daughters and sons….”

  • “The Mayans are great grandparents, transparent grandparents, and wise grandparents. And that wisdom is not dead….”


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Mental Peace

  • Dalai Lama: “Thus it is worthwhile adopting certain methods to increase mental peace, and in order to do that it is important to know more about the mind.…The key point is to have a genuine sense of universal responsibility, based on love and compassion, and clear awareness."


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What they knew…

  • From ignorance to insight

  • Transformation: a shift in consciousness

  • From isolation to empathy, connection and community

  • Environment as part of our enlarged interdependency

  • Beyond political and intellectual revolution to a spiritual revolution.


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MAIREAD CORRIGAN MAGUIRE: Well, we’re all born, I think, with the capacity to love. It’s a mystery of life, this thing…


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