may seem sometimes as if a culture of peace does
not stand a chance against the culture of war,
the culture of violence and the cultures of impunity
and intolerance. Peace may indeed be a complex
challenge, dependent on action in many fields
and even a bit of luck from time to time. It may
be a painfully slow process, and fragile and imperfect
when it is achieved. But peace is in our hands.
We can do it." -- Kofi
often unsung heroes understand...that poverty,
disease and famine are just as deadly and destructive
as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis. Individuals
...are taking on these challenges in their communities,
volunteering to make a difference. They remain
the true champions of our work towards the Millennium
Development Goals." -- Kofi
equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a
precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing
poverty, promoting sustainable development and building
-- Kofi Annan
challenge of ending displacement is inseparable
from the challenge of establishing and maintaining
peace. When wars end, farmers return to their fields;
children return to school; violence against women
declines; trade and economic activity resume; medical
and other services become more accessible, and the
international focus changes from relief to development
and self-sufficiency. All this makes new wars less
likely. It is a virtuous cycle that deserves nurture
-- Kenneth H. Bacon
is never time in the future in which we will work
out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment;
the time is always now.
-- James A. Baldwin
we must challenge individuals, communities, cities,
counties, regions, states, and the nation to be
accountable for the outcomes of the justice systems
at every level of government.
-- James Bell
Today social justice represents one of the most
serious challenges to the conscience of the world.
The abyss between those who are within the world
'order' and those who are excluded is widening
day by day. The use of leading-edge technologies
has made it possible to accumulate wealth in a
way that is fantastic but perverse because it
is unjustly distributed. Twenty-percent of humankind
control eighty percent of all means of life. That
fact creates a dangerous imbalance in the movement
-- Leonardo Boff
I do care a great deal about the environment but
my real work and my greatest challenge is trying
to overcome deceits that end up jeopardizing public
health and safety.
Grassroots groups challenge the "business-as-usual"
environmentalism that is generally practiced by
the more privileged wildlife-and conservation-oriented
groups. The focus of activists of color and their
constituents reflects their life experiences of
social, economic, and political disenfranchisement.
-- Robert Bullard
word "energy" incidentally equates with the Greek
word for "challenge." I think there is much to learn
in thinking of our federal energy problem in that
light. Further, it is important for us to think
of energy in terms of a gift of life.
-- Thomas Carr
is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility.
If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first
century we must harness the energy and creativity
of all our citizens."
- President Bill
Clinton on International Literacy Day, September
duty of youth is to challenge corruption.
-- Kurt Cobain
Well, it was quite a century, the best of times,
the worst of times; and as we run down now toward
the end of it, we can all recite our litany of
despair: overpopulation; pollution; a faltering
educational system; the rich getting richer, the
poor getting poorer; racial tension; drugs; too
many guns. But you know, if there's anything I've
learned, it is that we Americans do have a way
of rising to the challenges that confront us.
Just when it seems we're most divided, we suddenly
show a remarkable solidarity. The 20th century
may be leaving us with a host of problems, but
I've also noted that it does seem darkest before
the dawn. There's reason to hope for the 21st
century. And that's the way it will be.
-- Walter Cronkite
go to sanctuaries to remember the things we hold
most dear, the things we cherish and love. And then--the
great challenge--we return home seeking to enact
this wisdom as best we can in our daily lives."
~ William Cronon
believe that to meet the challenge of our times,
human beings will have to develop a greater sense
of universal responsibility. We must all learn to
work not just for our own self, family, or nation
but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal
responsibility is the key to human survival. It
is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable
use of natural resources, and through concern for
future generations, the proper care of the environment."
-- The Dalai
need to know the elemental challenges that sea
and mountains present. They need to know what
it is to be alive and to survive when great storms
come. They need to unlock the secrets of streams,
lakes, and canyons and to find how these treasures
are veritable storehouses of inspiration. They
must experience the sense of mastery of adversity.
They must find a peak or a ridge that they can
reach under their own power alone.
William O. Douglas
*The challenge of social justice is
to evoke a sense of community that we need to
make our nation a better place, just as we make
it a safer place.
organizing for political rights will probably be
treated initially with ridicule and derision, and
then with misunderstanding and perhaps eventually
violence if the experience of the struggle for women's
suffrage is any precedent. Undoubtedly the greatest
obstacle to be overcome is the adult refusal to
acknowledge that children suffer political discrimination
and exclusion. Adults do not perceive children as
a minority group but as helpless, inexperienced,
defenseless young people who need protection. Adult
paternalism seeks to protect and if in this process
it curtails freedom, truncates potential and destroys
civil liberties this is taken to be incidental.
The belief in the legitimacy of paternalism justifies
and cements the existing power relationships between
adults and young people. This attitude must be confronted,
challenged and refuted if young people are to secure
their political rights..."
-- Bob Franklin "The Rights of Children"
Nothing can be defined or derided on the basis of
its origin. The important thing is what is done
with it and how far a community identifies with
something that symbolizes its favourite way of dreaming,
living, dancing, playing or loving. This is the
positive side of the world: a constant intermingling
that produces new responses to new challenges. But
because of forced globalization, there’s a clear
trend these days towards uniformity. This trend
comes largely from the ever-greater concentration
of power in the hands of large media groups.
-- Eduardo Galeano
"We live in an age in which the fundamental
principles to which we subscribe -- liberty, equality
and justice for all -- are encountering extraordinary
challenges, ... But it is also an age in which
we can join hands with others who hold to those
principles and face similar challenges.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
good news is, we have everything we need now to
respond to the challenge of global warming. We
have all the technologies we need, more are being
developed.... But we should not wait, we cannot
wait, we must not wait."
~ Al Gore
Nuclear weapons have forced us to consider whether
we will be the last generation. They challenge
the moral dimension of our humanity. Our technological
abilities must not outstrip our moral insights,
rendering us less than fully human. For in this
age, acting without reliance on the gifts of law,
morality and wisdom will be lethal. What right
do we have to place all life on the planet at
risk in the service of a human construction, the
state, when it is presently legally required and
within our political means to globally eliminate
all nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons elimination
will make all states and their people safer. It
is time to assert our right to live in a nuclear
weapons free world.
-- Jonathan Granoff
“To me, the path to a sustainable energy future
seems very obvious. We have to find a way to tap
into a very small fraction of the sun’s energy
to convert it to a form suitable for supplying
what are in fact the relatively small additional
requirements of modern life. … I think the technological
challenge can be met. It remains to be seen whether
the political and organisational challenges involved
in recognising and addressing the need to change
from the status quo can also be met on a reasonable
~ Martin Green
are many challenges facing the international community
today but few, in my mind, are more pressing than
those of finding humanitarian solutions to refugee
problems. We talk of regional conflicts, of economic
and social crises, of political instability, of
abuses of human rights, of racism, religious intolerance,
inequalities between rich and poor, hunger, over-population,
under-development and. I could go on and on. Each
and every one of these impediments to humanity’s
pursuit of well-being are also among the root
causes of refugee problems.
-- Poul Hartling,
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1978-1985
is an act of the imagination. It dares you to imagine
a better future, one that is based on the blessed
possibility that your hurt will not be the final
word on the matter. It challenges you to give up
your destructive thoughts about the situation and
to believe in the possibility of a better future.
It builds confidence that you can survive the pain
and grow from it. "
-- Larry James
hope we shall take warning from the example of
England and crush in its birth the aristocracy
of our moneyed corporations which dare already
to challenge our Government to trial and bid defiance
to the laws of our country.
-- Thomas Jefferson
Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying
to cover up failure, Learn from your failures and
go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If
you're not failing, you're not growing."
-- H. Stanley Judd
"...We have an historic opportunity for a
great global healing and renewal. If we will accept
the challenge of nonviolent activism with faith,
courage, and determination, we can bring this
great vision of a world united in peace and harmony
from a distant ideal into glowing reality."
ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
in moments of comfort and convenience, but where
he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
of the great liabilities of history is that all
too many people fail to remain awake through great
periods of social change. Every society has its
protectors of status quo and its fraternities
of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping
through revolutions. Today, our very survival
depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust
to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the
challenge of change." --
concede that we have decided to let our children
grow up in two separate nations, and lead two
separate kinds of lives. If, on the other hand,
we have the courage to rise to this challenge
to name what's happening within our inner-city
schools, then we also need the courage to be activist
and go out and fight like hell to change it.”
-- Jonathan Kozol
Hope is not enough to change the world, to bring
peace, to end starvation and poverty, to provide
a decent education for all children, or to prevent
nuclear holocaust. Yet it is a critical starting
point for building a better and brighter future.
All of us are challenged to connect hope to action
until we have created a might river that will carve
a new path to the future.
-- David Krieger
Zealand's nuclear free movement is a broad-based
and popular movement. Our nuclear free status
is a challenge to much that is accepted as orthodox
in international relations. It was formally adopted
in the cold war era as a form of resistance to
the dismal doctrines of nuclear deterrence. It
is still a rebuke to the unprincipled exercise
of economic power and military might.
-- David Lange
*I also believe that it's almost impossible
for people to change alone. We need to join with
others who will push us in our thinking and challenge
us to do things we didn't believe ourselves capable
-- Frances Moore
message today is one of hope. It is about potential
waiting to be fulfilled: the surest way to meet
the global challenges we face now and in the future
is to make every mother and child count.
~ Dr. LEE
Jong-wook, WHO Secretary-General
Therefore my challenge to each of you ... is that
you ask yourself what you can do to make a difference.
And then take that action, no matter how large
or how small. For our children have a right to
join with me in this campaign. Lend me your strength
and your support-and together, we will call America
home to the ideals that nourished us in the beginning.
From secrecy, and deception in high places, come
From military spending so wasteful that it weakens
our nation, come home, America.
From the entrenchment of special privilege and
From the waste of idle hands to the joy of useful
From the prejudice of race and sex-
From the loneliness of the aging poor and the
despair of the neglected sick, come home, America.
Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream.
Come home to the conviction that we can move our
Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer
And let us be joyful in the homecoming,
for:' this land is your land, this land is my
From California to the New York Islands.
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters.
This land was made for you and me.'
May God grant us the wisdom to cherish this good
land and to meet the great challenge that beckons
us home. This is the time.
-- George McGovern
the midst of living life; in the midst of chaos;
in the midst of endless lists of to-do's and people
to take care of and little pieces of you going
outward, I challenge you to shift your subconscious,
to shift your attitude, and find three things
to feel grateful for. Look around you with your
senses. What three small things can you feel grateful
for? Think about it and breathe it in and say:
'I am grateful. I am grateful. I am grateful for
all the abundance around me and in me.' What do
you picture when you say these words? Imagine
it as if it is true. I am grateful for all the
abundance around me and in me."
-- Cheryl Melody
the midst of living life; in the midst of chaos;
in the midst of endless lists of to-do's and people
to take care of and little pieces of you going outward,
I challenge you to shift your subconscious, to shift
your attitude, and find three things to feel grateful
for. Look around you with your senses. What three
small things can you feel grateful for? Think about
it and breathe it in and say: 'I am grateful. I
am grateful. I am grateful for all the abundance
around me and in me.' What do you picture when you
say these words? Imagine it as if it is true. I
am grateful for all the abundance around me and
in me." -- Cheryl
have the opportunity to make violence prevention
and peacemaking a central conversation in our
culture right now. And there couldn't be a more
urgent time to do so. We see daily the tragic
impact violence is having on the planet. I feel
heartened that so many practical solutions will
be brought forth through a Department of Peace.
This campaign is showing what can be done as we
begin to invest more in the work of peacebuilding.
There are many programs and practices that are
already proving to be incredibly effective at
reducing such cultural challenges as gang violence,
violence in our schools, in our homes, as well
as conflict around the world. So please join this
movement by contacting your members of Congress
and urge them to support this landmark legislation.
And join others in your community working to make
it happen. Together we can do this." -- Willie
people recognize the big challenges that are coming
up... -- Barack
warming is not just the greatest environmental
challenge facing our planet — it is one of our
greatest challenges of any kind. -- Barack
I am convinced that whenever we exaggerate or
demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case,
we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate,
we lose. For it's precisely the pursuit of ideological
purity, the rigid orthodoxy and the sheer predictability
of our current political debate, that keeps us
from finding new ways to meet the challenges we
face as a country. It's what keeps us locked in
"either/or" thinking: the notion that we can only
have big government or no government; the assumption
that we must either tolerate forty-six million
without health insurance or embrace "socialized
medicine." -- Barack
a nation, this is the moment to start seriously
investing our time, energy and resources into
proven methods of reducing violence, both within
our nation as well as internationally. The cost
of violence to our culture and our children is
simply not sustainable. I have learned that in
the United States, youth homicide rates are more
than 10 times that of other leading industrialized
nations, this is just one example of the challenges
we face. Is this really a legacy we want to leave
our children? There is a better way.
-- Joaquin Phoenix
"If we want energy security, then we have to reduce
our appetite for fossil fuels. There's no other
way. Other issues may crowd the headlines, but
this is our fundamental challenge. Big challenges
require bold action and leadership. To get the
United States off fossil fuels in this uneasy
national climate of terrorism and conflict in
the Persian Gulf, we must treat the issue with
the urgence and persistance it deserves. The measure
of our success will be the condition on which
we leave the world for the next generation.
~ Robert Redford
artist, every scientist, must decide now where
he stands. He has no alternative. There is no
standing above the conflict on Olympian heights.
There are no impartial observers. Through the
destruction, in certain countries, of the greatest
of man's literary heritage, through the propagation
of false ideas of racial and national superiority,
the artist, the scientist, the writer is challenged.
The struggle invades the formerly cloistered halls
of our universities and other seats of learning.
The battlefront is everywhere. There is no sheltered
rear." And I saw, too, that the struggle for Negro
rights was an inseparable part of the anti-fascist
struggle and I said: "The artist must elect to
fight for Freedom or for Slavery. I have made
my choice. I had no alternative."
-- Paul Robeson
democracy and self-rule are the fundamentals, then
why should people give up these rights when they
enter their workplace? In politics we fight like
tigers for freedom, for the right to elect our leaders,
for freedom of movement, choice of residence, choice
of what work to pursue - control of our lives, in
short. And then we wake up in the morning and go
to work, and all those rights disappear. We no longer
insist on them. And so for most of the day we return
to feudalism. That is what capitalism is - a version
of feudalism in which capital replaces land, and
business leaders replace kings. But the hierarchy
remains. And so we still hand over our lives' labor,
under duress, to feed rulers who do no real work....
'So. We must challenge. It is time. If self-rule
is a fundamental value, if simple justice is a value,
then they are values everywhere, including in the
workplace where we spend so much of our lives'...."
-- Kim Stanley Robinson
you were all alone in the universe with no one to
talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of
the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be
your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love,
which gives your life meaning. This is harmony.
We must discover the joy of each other, the joy
of challenge, the joy of growth.
-- Mitsugi Saotome
families have always shown remarkable resiliency,
or flexible adjustment to natural, economic, and
social challenges. Their strengths resemble the
elasticity of a spider web, a gull's skillful flow
with the wind, the regenerating power of perennial
grasses, the cooperation of an ant colony, and the
persistence of a stream carving canyon rocks. These
are not the strengths of fixed monuments but living
organisms. This resilience is not measured by wealth,
muscle or efficiency but by creativity, unity, and
hope. Cultivating these family strengths is critical
to a thriving human community.
-- Ben Silliman
For the world order to be one of peace and justice,
for the global village to be a theater of right
livelihood, it is imperative that a new and proactive
spiritual vision commensurate to the challenges
of the emerging world order be enunciated without
-- Swami Agnivesh
among religions is a precondition for world peace.
But religions, as religions, can never be at peace
with each other. To enable religions to be instruments
for peace we need to enable, first, religious communities
to progress from religion to spirituality. For the
world order to be one of peace and justice, for
the global village to be a theater of right livelihood,
it is imperative that a new and proactive spiritual
vision commensurate to the challenges of the emerging
world order be enunciated without delay. The challenge
is to make “right livelihood” a universal goal.
Recognizing this value in a symbolic way through
an award like this is a significant step in the
right direction. This is not, however, our journey’s
end. We must not rest until right livelihood is
within reach of every human being upon this earth
we love and cherish. We all have a role to play
in achieving this goal.
-- Swami Agnivesh
challenge the culture of violence when we our selves
act in the certainty that violence is no longer acceptable,
that it's tired and outdated no matter how many cling
in the stubborn belief that it still works and that
it's still valid.
-- Gerard Vanderhaar
we're seeing a higher level of consciousness and
many more opportunities for people to challenge
their present ways of thinking and move into a
grander and larger experience of who they really
~ Neale Donald
The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome.
All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not
to frighten them, but to challenge them. -- Woodrow