Our troubled world is in dire need of moral and innovative leaders who set the example of selfless service beyond identity-based divisions in pursuit of lasting peace. On September 21st, the UN International Day of Peace is observed around the world, devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people.

Here are some quick quotes from past leaders advocating for peace to help inspire you on this International Day of Peace.

“If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nations. When there is order in the nations, there will peace in the world.” ― Confucius

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ― Gautama Buddha

“The Simple Path. Silence is Prayer. Prayer is Faith. Faith is Love. Love is Service. The Fruit of Service is Peace.” ― Mother Teresa

“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” ― Albert Einstein

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

“True freedom is not advanced in the permissive society, which confuses freedom with license to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace.” ― Pope John Paul II

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. And however undramatic the pursuit of peace, that pursuit must go on.” ― John F. Kennedy