Virtuous motives, trammeled by inertia and timidity, are no match for armed and resolute wickedness. A sincere love of peace is no excuse for muddling hundreds of millions of humble folk into total war. The cheers of the weak, well-meaning assemblies soon cease to count. Doom marches on.
We can gain no lasting peace if we approach it with suspicion and mistrust or with fear. We can gain it only if we proceed with the understanding, the confidence, and the courage which flow from conviction.
We can work on inner peace and world peace at the same time. On one hand, people have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves, like the cause of world peace, because finding inner peace means coming from the self-centered life into the life centered in the good of the whole. On the other hand, one of the ways of working for world peace is to work for more inner peace, because world peace will never be stable until enough of us find inner peace to stabilize it.
We have heard much of the phrase, peace and friendship. This phrase, in expressing the aspiration of America, is not complete. We should say instead, peace and friendship, in freedom. This, I think, is America's real message to the rest of the world.
We know that dictators are quick to choose aggression, while free nations strive to resolve differences in peace. We know that oppressive governments support terror, while free governments fight the terrorists in their midst. We know that free peoples embrace progress and life, instead of becoming the recruits for murderous ideologies.
We merely want to live in peace with all the world, to trade with them, to commune with them, to learn from their culture as they may learn from ours, so that the products of our toil may be used for our schools and our roads and our churches and not for guns and planes and tanks and ships of war.
What is the most profitable? Fellowship with the good. What is the worst thing in the world? The society of evil men. What is the greatest loss? Failure in one?s duty. Where is the greatest peace? In truth and righteousness. Who is the hero? The man who subdues his senses. Who is the best beloved? The faithful wife. What is wealth? Knowledge. What is the most perfect happiness? Staying at home.