Extreme Peace

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2016 13 Sep

A photo of the Peace Pilgrim walking

Mildred Lisette Norman was seventy-two when she started walking across the country for the seventh time. Possessing nothing but the clothes on her back, she wore her trademark blue tunic emblazoned with the words “Peace Pilgrim,” the name she had come to be known by. This silver-haired woman began walking when the Korean War was underway and kept walking right on through the conflict in Vietnam. Remarkably, she managed to live on the road without money, never once asking for food and shelter but receiving what she needed. Wherever she went, she spoke to people not only about the need for peace among nations and peoples but of the need we all have for inner peace. The following are among her many memorable quotes:

This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. There is nothing new about this message, except the practice of it.

You have much more power when you are working for the right thing than when you are working against the wrong thing.

Only outer peace can be had through law. The way to inner peace is through love.

Since steps toward spiritual advancement are taken in such varied order, most of us can teach one another.1

Peace Pilgrim lived what many of us would consider an extreme life. She was forty-four when she undertook her first pilgrimage and seventy-two when she died in an accident while being driven to a speaking engagement. She lived prayerfully and with faith, desiring to tell others the vital truths she had learned about peace. Whether she was a Christian or merely a Deist I am uncertain, but I am sure she knew something important about peace.

  1. See Peace Pilgrim, “Steps toward Inner Peace,” Wikisource, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Steps_Toward_Inner_Peace.