–by Peace Pilgrim (Jan 3, 2019)
A pilgrim is a wanderer with a purpose. A pilgrimage can be to a place—that’s the best known kind—but it can also be for a thing. Mine is for peace, and that is why I am a Peace Pilgrim. My pilgrimage covers the entire peace picture: peace among nations, peace among groups, peace within our environment, peace among individuals, and the very, very important inner peace —which I talk about most often because that is where peace begins.
The situation in the world around us is just a reflection of the collective situation. In the final analysis, only as we become more peaceful people will we be finding ourselves living in a more peaceful world.
In the Middle Ages the pilgrims went out as the disciples were sent out —without money, without food, without adequate clothing —and I know that tradition. I have no money. I do not accept any money on my pilgrimage. I belong to no organization. There is no organization backing me. I own only what I wear and carry. There is nothing to tie me down. I am as free as a bird soaring in the sky.
I walk until given shelter, fast until given food. I don’t ask —it’s given without asking. Aren’t people good! There is a spark of good in everybody, no matter how deeply it may be buried, it is there. It’s waiting to govern your life gloriously. […]
Now, a pilgrim walks prayerfully, and a pilgrim walks as an opportunity to come in contact with many people and perhaps inspire them to do something for peace in their own way. […] You’re in a much better position to talk with people when they approach you than when you approach them. Those individuals who are attracted to me are either genuinely interested in some phase of peace or just have a good lively curiosity. Both kinds are very worthwhile people. Then I have time to share with people my peace message which says in one sentence:
This is the way of peace —overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
The Golden Rule would do equally well. There is nothing new about that except the practice of it. But I consider it the lesson for today and so it becomes the message of the peace pilgrimage. Please don’t say lightly that these are just religious concepts and not practical. These are laws governing human conduct, which apply as rigidly as the law of gravity. When we disregard these laws in any walk of life, chaos results. Through obedience to these laws this world of ours will enter a period of peace and richness of life beyond our fondest dreams.
The key word for our time is practice. We have all the light we need, we just need to put it into practice. […]
In undertaking this pilgrimage I do not think of myself as an individual but rather as an embodiment of the heart of the world which is pleading for peace. […] I see hope in the real desire for peace in the heart of humanity, even though the human family gropes toward peace blindly, not knowing the way.
–Peace Pilgrim, http://www.peacepilgrim.com Mildred Norman, started walking for a peace pilgrimage in 1953 and stopped counting after 25,000 miles; she kept walking, criss crossing the part of the Planet we call the United States six times, walking for her entire life. She carried no money, nor would she accept any.