Letters to Peace Pilgrim
Following are excerpts from letters written to Peace Pilgrim, mostly toward the end of her last pilgrimage route. Although she forwarded items such as news clippings on to the Swarthmore College Peace Library which collects material about her, Peace followed her vow of simplicity and discarded most letters sent to her after she had answered them.
A friend: "What have you done to me! All I did was ask a nice lady if she wanted a ride, and I end up with a whole new world of wonders before me. Every day now my life is rapidly changing. I simply am not the man I was a month ago, a week ago--yesterday. I continue to find new meaning in our conversation."
A friend: "When I opened your letters, my soul was in turmoil, with my lower self doing battle with my higher self--and winning, I'm afraid! Your wonderful messages washed over me like a bath, cleansing and purifying! What you say makes so much sense--TRUTH, all in capital letters!"
A college professor: "Perhaps you'd like to know, final exam Philosophy 201 tomorrow will consist of quotes from and questions about your aphorisms."
A correspondent: "I have heard William Jennings Bryan, the greatest orator of his generation. I also heard Dr. Russell Conwell give his famous lecture, Acres of Diamonds, and I want to say at this time the lecture you gave was superior to Bryan's effort or the genius of Conwell."
A friend: "Thank you so much for sending the literature. I find it all very profound. It strikes a chord in me that keeps resounding...Your correspondence to me arrived like an answer to a prayer--it came on a day of enormous need for inner peace, and the tangles seemed to melt away. It was very comforting."
A minister in Texas: "...I gave your booklet, Steps Toward Inner Peace, to the East Coast ministers. They all would love to have you speak at their churches. I told them you were the best thing that every happened to our church--and I meant that sincerely. I know you are a blessing to this whole world."
A friend in Baton Rouge: "...I sincerely hope your sane and life-giving message of peace is finding receptive audiences wherever you travel...Many are becoming more and more concerned with the shocking and outrageous militarism which we now hear preached on every hand. Surely no individual of conscience can support or justify such massive preparations for the wholesale destruction of the human family. How truly wonderful it would be to see the final triumph of peace and justice over the forces of death and destruction..."
Catholic Sister from California: "For some good reason you keep crossing paths with Catholics working for peace...You are a today witness to Jesus' peace."
A college student in Illinois: "It's been a few months since I met you...and your message has been on my mind since that time. I've listened for so long to `successful people' tell me what life was all about and I followed their advice blindly. However I found what I had been seeking in a small white-haired lady with no possessions..."
A minister: "Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement. You were a `God Send' to our congregation. Our church is experiencing new life, harmony and mission outreach."
A college student: "Since hearing your message I have done a lot of self-evaluation and reorganization of the values and priorities in my life. I discovered a person within me with an overwhelming desire to reach out and share with others who had been buried beneath self-interest and fear. I have been so busy trying to survive and possibly get ahead that I missed out on a lot of the living. I had been waiting for someone to open up an escape hatch in the wall of apathy and disillusion that surrounded me. The message of hope and love that you shared with our class that night helped me to open up and to see that there was a lot of good left in our world. There are so many out there like myself who are waiting for someone, anyone, who cares to come along and touch them...While I may never have the courage to travel as you do, I can reach out to those persons in Springfield...I want to thank you for helping me to believe in people--with all of this education it was one thing I never learned...Your commitment to peace and love radiates from your face, there is no need for you to persuade or debate the issue...God truly blessed you...May your light shine for many more years."
A friend: "...meeting you has meant a lot to me. For the first time I have wondered what my role in the divine plan is--it never occurred to me before that there could be something special I should be doing..."
A radio listener: "In 51 years of listening, reading and discussion, I have never heard nor seen the truth--as it relates to both inner and outer problems so beautifully and logically promulgated as by you on the local radio program today--You have a tremendous grasp of the problems that are plaguing people and governments today; and the solutions you speak of seem so logical and full of promise."