(A letter written in 1969)
LOVING GREETINGS, DEAR FRIENDS IN OTHER LANDS!
DEAR FRIENDS OF PEACE:
Some of you have not heard from me for a long time. This is because I have been so very busy speaking for peace at colleges, high schools, churches, etc. — but always I am happily busy. If you would like to remain on my mailing list, please send in the enclosed slip. Otherwise, farewell and God bless you!
By the end of 1968 I had finished my fourth peace pilgrimage route, which took three years. The beginning of 1969 I began a fifth peace pilgrimage route, which will take four years. I walked 25,000 counted miles in the first three pilgrimage routes, but now no mileage is counted. Therefore I can do my walking on country roads and wilderness footpaths and mountain trails, through city streets and along beaches and even cross country, for I will not need to follow highways where mileages are recorded on maps.
For several years my special prayer was "Let the killing in Vietnam cease !" I know that nothing is too big to pray for, that all good prayer has good effect, that right prayer motivates to right action. It was wonderful to watch the people of my country turn toward peace - until they were way ahead of their government and then to see Congressmen begin to change their attitudes. It was especially wonderful to watch the awakening of the youth. Yes, the young folks are in rebellion, but in general it is a good rebellion - a rebellion against false values of society like war and prejudice and materialism and hypocrisy. They seem to sense that we need a more complete democracy - not only individual and political democracy, but social and economic democracy. We all seem to sense that we need a more complete living of religious principles, with more emphasis on the way of love and the overcoming of evil with good.
There have been large peace demonstrations here, and there is certainly widespread peace interest. I hope the fact that some progress has been made will not make us lethargic. It should make us work with renewed vigor for the peace which seems more and more possible. Some work primarily on world peace through world law, Some work primarily on more peaceful literature and playthings and films for the children. Knowing that inharmony in our world is a reflection of inharmony in ourselves, I continue to work primarily on peace within ourselves as a step toward peace in our world.
We are making a choice in our world today which, in the written history of mankind, has never been made before - a choice between a nuclear war which could destroy all life on earth and a golden age of peace. Everyone helps to make this choice. The tide of world affairs drifts in the direction of destruction, so those who do nothing choose to let it drift. Those who want to choose peace must do something meaningful for peace - must make a great peace effort to turn the tide.
Knowing that all good effort bears good fruit, I continue to make all the peace effort I can, and to try to inspire others to do likewise.
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