Betty Williams

Peace in the World is Everybody's Business - Sept. 20, 2007

Betty Williams
September 20, 2007— Soka University, Aliso Viejo, California
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It could be better than that: Good morning! Now would you do me a favor please, would you all stand up? … Now give each other a hug… Doesn’t that feel good? My favorite expression in the whole world is: “Arms are for hugging, not for killing.” Now for those of you who know nothing about the work of peace that was carried out in Northern Ireland, it would be very difficult to me to stand here and tell you all the things that we did, to create peace for a land that we all longed for so much, and which we have now. But I think for you to get to know me a little better, and what makes this crazy Irish woman tick, I should tell you a little bit about the beginnings. When I say “crazy Irish woman,” one of my best friends in the world is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and we call him “our little spiritual bubble.” He just goes about […] on people, you know. And he calls me “this crazy Irish woman.” He says I’m “crazy, but a good child.” I hope so!

Because in the field of peace, one has to be a little bit crazy. If the rest of the world is not crazy, and wars and destruction are going on, well I would rather be on the other side of that and be the crazy one who believes we can finish this. So, in peace work, one has to have a bit of…craziness.

I was born and brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland; I’m the daughter of a wonderful father who was a butcher, and my mother, who was a waitress. I was brought up in a very poor area of the city of Belfast called Andersonstown, which is commonly known as Catholic Ghetto. And I know of all of my life being brought up the injustices that were perpetrated upon the Catholic people of Northern Ireland were absolutely gross. We can make similarities between what happens to the Black people of the United States and what happened to the Catholic Irish people. It was really bad. We couldn’t vote, we couldn’t own property, we had to take the most menial of jobs, and we certainly hadn’t got access to education. But my father pushed us: “Education, education, education. The only way forward, is if you’re educated.” And so, I became educated. And when I went to university in Northern Ireland, Queens University of Belfast, in a student body of 4,000, there were fifteen Catholics. That was the huge divisions in our community. And I watched all my life as my people suffered. And I never really got involved in trying to help that situation because I was too busy getting educated. But then, one day, in 1976, although I had been working in many areas of peace before that, the war broke out in 1969. It broke out because Ian Paisley who was now gonna be the First minister of Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley, flanked by the police force in Ireland, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, marched up to the Catholic streets, and burned Catholic people out of their homes. And I remember going though all this, going to pick up Catholic people to take them to safety when I was very young.

And then the IRA were born. Because before the year 1969, there were no provisional IRA, in Ireland. There was the only Irish Republican Army, but there were no guns and there were… nobody was armed, but the police force was armed, and so, born from that, came Provisional IRA. And then when Provisional IRA were born, protestant paramilitary groups were born. We had Provisional IRA on one side, the UDA on the other side, the Ulster Defense Regiment, we had the UPF, the Red-Hand Commandos, we had nine armies on our streets, including the British army, which was the only one which was legalized. And may I say, legalized violence is pretty horrible too. And the British army committed atrocities in Northern Ireland, absolute atrocities.

And so the war was born, this particular war. Because Ireland was invaded eight hundred and fifty years ago by a man called Cromwell. And it never really had peace since that time. And we always had wars coming up every couple of… centuries… in the century, about every twenty years in every century, there was an uprising in Ireland to try to free ourselves from the British. And this last uprising was 1969. It was a bloody uprising, absolutely awful. And it resulted in the death of many, many people.

I remember my father coming home from work one night, and there had been bomb blasts - twenty nine bombs were dropped on the city of Belfast in one day. And I kept my father’s shop, to get butchers to help pick people under the bombs, or what was left of people. I myself got caught up with one of these bombs, I’m completely deaf on this side (showing left ear), and I got some pretty serious back injuries. Mind you, my grandbabies love the fact that I am deaf on this side, because they keep asking me for things in this ear, and of course I say: “yes, you can have it – you know!”

But, something happened to me on August 10th 1969, when I was driving home from my mother’s house. And my daughter in the back of the car, in her little car seat, and I heard shots from out. And I suddenly realized how sick I was because I could distinguish gun fire. Imagine being able to distinguish gun fire. And I heard shots from an ArmaLite rifle, which was the rifle of choice used by Provisional IRA. And I heard a return fire from an SLR, which is the ‘self-loading rifle,’ used by the British army. And as I turned off the main road, down onto the avenue where I lived, a car came careening out of control, round the corner, right to the pavement, and slammed into a woman and

her children. I was the first one on the scene. I had never seen, and I hope you’ll never witness the carnage like I did. You don’t see my little angels, but I will never leave home without them. Their names are John, Joanne, and Andrew MacGuire. Those of the three children who were killed that day, slaughtered that day, on a Belfast street. And I remember sitting in my car and looking at the scene, thinking, “well, what can I do?” I mean, even when I speak about it now at the leisure as a speaker, I get this tightness in my stomach and this big knot in my throat. And I often think to myself, I wonder what would become about John, Joanne, and Andrew had they not been slaughtered. What kind of human beings they would have been. But they were killed in an insane situation. Little Andrew was only six weeks old. He had been ejected out of his pram and was hanging by the back of his neck on the church railing. Little John had been thrown down the street, and Joanne was the only one I could reach. When the car went to the pavement, when she got sucked under it, her little blond curls were wrapped around the wheel, she was scalped. No cause in the world deserves to treat children like this. None. And I remember holding little Joanne in my arms, in …in shock. Covered in her blood and whispering in her ear “I love you.” And saying to myself, “I’ve got to do something to make sure that this doesn’t happen to any more children in Northern Ireland.”

I remember going home. I remember taking my little girl out of her car seat. I remember my sister coming in and making me a cup of tea, and then there were four hours of my life which I’ve never… I can’t remember. Four hours of my life went completely missing. Until this day, I still don’t know what I did in those four hours. I was in such deep shock at what I had just witnessed. And my next memory was me standing in my garage, and I’m screaming. Now a friend of mine, who’s a psychiatrist in Northern Ireland said that was my way of bringing myself out of shock. But I’m so glad that happened, because it probably would have cost me a fortune to get out of shock any other way. And then I remembered the anger I felt. I remember coming back into my living room with my son sitting, doing his homework. And I lifted the page he was writing on, and I jumped in my car, and I went up into what was Provisional IRA territory and I began banging on doors. And I wasn’t very nice about it, believe me, I was yelling, screaming at the women: “We can’t live like this anymore. We’ve got to do something to change this society.” And I had the piece of paper in my hand, and I said to the woman: “Sign this!” She said “What I am signing?” And I wrote across the top of it, “Petition for Peace.” And that’s how it began. And then, it was rather like being the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

All the women, who had held these feelings that I was feeling, I only gave voice to what they were feeling. And they were coming out in the hundreds, and we started collecting signatures for peace. Within six hours, not two days, six hours, we had 5,000 signatures for peace. The women were magnificent, absolutely magnificent. It was as though they had thrown away their fear, you know, because fear is a very contagious emotion. It cripples societies. When societies live in fear, nobody does anything because everybody’s too frightened to do something. But courage is contagious. Very contagious. And what happened that night was, women found their courage. And I remember going back to my house, and I called Dr. Lockman, and I said: “Look, I’ve got all these signatures, what am I going to do?” You see, none of this was planned. You have to understand, that, this all happened without any kind of planning. It just happened, because, me, as one human being, had had enough. And they could have been my children, or any other mothers who would just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, it could have been her children. And so when I came back to the house, I thought, “I’m going have to do something with these signatures, I can’t just have signature on a piece, I have got to take some sort of action.”

So I picked up the telephone, and I called our local newspaper, The Irish News. And this was like four o’clock in the morning by this time, and I had women all over my house. My house was absolutely packed with these incredibly wonderful, beautiful women, and I… this is something that none of you are ever likely to hear, maybe something you’d see in a movie. But when I picked up the phone and called the local newspaper, I talked to a man called Tom Samways. He was the night editor of The Irish News. And I said: “My name is Betty Williams, and I live in 20 Orstrum Gardens in Belfast, and I have just gone out with the women of this area and we have collected 5,000 signatures for peace.” And he said to me: “Ma’am, have you been drinking?” I said: “No, but I could really use a large brandy.” And he said: “What was your name again? Are you sure you want…” And I heard him say, shout to somebody behind him, “Stop press. We have a new front page.” And the next morning, came out in The Irish News what the women of Andersonstown had done that night.

And then I was asked to go on television and do an interview for BBC. And I… this was the next step, which I didn’t even notice happening. You know, this was evolving, as we went along, and I remember thinking to myself, waiting for the interview, “what can I ask the women of Northern Ireland to do next?” And I was sitting in the green room. I know, I thought, I’ll call a rally. I’ll ask the women, Protestants and Catholics, that if they feel like I feel, would they join me in a rally the following Saturday in the spot where the children had died. Never knowing what was about to happen. It was like Rosa Parks who sat in the bus, refused to give up her seat. Rosa was the catalyst to the Martin Luther King movement. She didn’t know that. All she knew was, she had had enough. She had it up to here. And she wasn’t going to take it anymore. Well that’s exactly how I felt. And so after I did this entry, I went down to… I remember looking at the camera and saying to myself: “Pretend that camera is a friend. Don’t be afraid of it and don’t be nervous,” because I was shaking. I had never done anything public before in my life, except get married and, you know. But nothing really. I did a speech at my sister’s wedding but I’ve never been a public speaker or any of that. And so, I was interviewed by a wonderful man called Peter Snow - beautiful human being. And I said, “I would want to ask you before you do this interview, to ask me the question of what I would like to do next.” And that’s when I had the opportunity to say to the women of Ireland: “Please, if you feel like I, do join me in a rally on Saturday at the church. See, the children were killed outside the Catholic Church, which made it even more horrendous. Join me.”

And then I wondered, “Mother of God, what have I done!” you know! “Maybe nobody will turn up! You don’t know. You just don’t know. But my father came from a family of eight, and my mother came from a family of twelve, so I went home and I got on the phone to my relatives. You know, “Would you please come to the rally!” I knew my cousin Frances would be there and she would bring her five children, you know! And I’m thinking to myself, “But we … maybe we’ll only have fifty. That would be great.

Please, God, let fifty turn up!” That’s what I said to myself. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know the miracle that was about to take place.

As I’m standing on the spot, and my cousin Frances with her five children and a few other of my relatives standing around me… the buses started to draw up, from the Catholic side to here, from the Protestant side to here. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…buses were in the hundreds drawing up. I didn’t know the women had hired buses, to get themselves this rally! And in one powerful act of love, we wiped out eight hundred and fifty years of bad history. The women didn’t speak. They just ran into each others’ arms. It was an incredible experience. Ten thousand women turned up for that first rally. And across the street, on a garage, a Texaco garage, there were men with guns, pointing down, and I said: “Please God, don’t let me have brought anybody here today to be killed.” But it went off beautifully, peacefully. And the other day, when I was talking to my class about this, bringing them up to date in my work, there’s a beautiful scene that it still burns in my mind: there was a woman who arrived with her pram, and there’s a brand new baby in the pram, and she had another baby, a young baby, seating on a little seat, on the pram as well. And I have to show you what she did. (Acting like she is walking with the pram) She had her pram like this, walking. And a fellow came out of the crowd, to hit her, and she lifts her foot and just kicked him! And she never let go of her pram. She never took her hands off her pram. And we marched to the graveyard, to say goodbye to the children, Joanne, John, and Andrew. And then I planned series of rallies. “Oh thank you God, somebody came!” Ten thousand, you know! If you don’t believe in miracles, trust me, miracles definitely happen, because I witnessed one that day. So I called a series of rallies, twelve in all. And I called them all over Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales. So every time we marched in Northern Ireland, there would be a coinciding march, somewhere on the mainland England, Wales, or Scotland, or the New Republic. The second march- thirty-five thousand. The third march, forty thousand. And up and up and up they went every week. Until our final rally in Trafalgar square, we had a quarter-million people at that rally. It was an incredible experience, and all the time, when I’m doing this, I’m planning rallies, I got no sleep, working eighteen hours a day, maybe getting two hours of sleep, but I was already planning the second stage of the peace movement. Because marching for peace is wonderful, and singing for peace is wonderful, and praying for peace is wonderful. But get real, it’s not going to fall out of heaven. Walking for peace and working for peace are two different elements, two different elements altogether. And I knew that once I brought the rally-phase down, once we completed the rally phase, there had to be something next. And I was standing with Joan Baez, do you know the name, Joan Baez? Well, for those of you who don’t remember her, she is one of the most famous folk singers in the world, and she sang some extraordinary, like "Kumbaya" was one of hers, "We Shall Overcome," just I used to listen to her while I was doing my homework. I would put Joan Baez on, I would just listen her. And I remember my father, in my own home, my daddy was my secretary for the first six weeks of the movement, he was running my house. And my father called me up one day, he was in the kitchen making me a cup of tea, and he called: “Betty, there’s somebody on the phone for you! She says her name is Jean Baez!” And so I get on the phone and this beautiful delicate voice said to me: “Hello, my name is Joan Baez, I’m calling you from California.” And I said “Yes, and I’m Raquel Welch.” I hung up. I couldn’t believe that! I would never expect Joan Baez to call! Certainly not me!

How could I expect Joan Baez to call? The phone rang again, and my father says: “It’s that woman again, Jean Baez.” So I went to pick up the phone and she said: “Please don’t hang up! This is Joan. This really is Joan Baez. And, can you tell me a little bit about your movement?” So I explained to Joan what we were doing and what we were all about, and she said: “Can I come march with you?” – “Oh Jesus! Please come march with us!”

And she said, “How would you like me to arrive?” I said: “singing.” Joan got off the plane at Aldergrove Airport in Belfast, stood on the tarmac, and sang "We Shall Overcome." And all of us who were greeting her were just in floods of tears. When Joan was standing aside me at the podium on Trafalgar Square and I remember looking at all these people and thinking, I turned to Joan and I said: “You know Joan, out of all these people who are gathered here, we will be very lucky if we get ten really good workers for peace.” And Joan said: “No, no, I think you’ll get a little more than that.” I then began to write the Declaration of the Community of the Peace People, and we had signatures on that, two hundred fifty thousand signed up on that, so I knew we’d have a little more than ten workers, and then we went on to get on with the reality of what we’ve got to do. Northern Ireland had a population of 1.5 million people, with an unemployment problem of fourteen and a half percent. And pocket areas where that went up as high as 93% without a job, social violence of the worst kind. We had the worst housing conditions in Western Europe. Two bedroom houses with families of eight to twelve, and an outside toilet. The worst housing conditions. And of course we had the bigotry, against the Catholic community. Well, if you take all of that into consideration, so the first thing we set about doing was to create small industries. Second thing we set about doing was rebuilding, re- housing. The government was constantly being tortured by me. Daily I would be on the phone, or daily I would be questioning them saying, demanding good housing for the people. We began with beautiful housing. And then I think one of the most important things that we did, we opened the first integrate school in Ireland’s history. Now integration here meant Black and White. Integration in Northern Ireland was Catholic and Protestant. And the day that we opened the school, I’ll never forget, we had twelve… well, we were supposed to have twelve pupils: my daughter, one of her best friends, two of those pupils, but the morning we opened, we had only eleven show up, we were a protestant short. And I knew that the media would not concentrate on the fact that children had turned up at all to go to this school. They were more likely to concentrate on the fact that it was uneven numbers, and they’ve… probably would have written… like in McCauley Jones with uneven numbers. We asked the children the name of the college, to name our school. And one wee boy said: “why is it Mairead, that you name everything after Saints… you have Saint Dominic’s, Saint Theresa’s, Saint Mary’s, we don’t want any Saints in our school name!” I said “OK, you don’t have to have them,” because the children named the school. They said: “Mrs. Williams, we have the river Lagan that runs right through the city of Belfast. Why can’t we call it Lagan College?” Brilliant idea!

Brilliant idea! And then the students designed our badge, our motif on our badge. And there was a hand stretching over this bridge, over the Lagan. And that’s been our motif to this day. And that morning when we opened, and we were a Protestant short, at the very last minute, this lady arrived with her little boy, and I said to her… she said: “Well, Mrs. Williams, I don’t knowwhether I’m doing the right thing or the wrong thing but here he is.” And I said: “would you mind if I ask you what religion are you?” She said: “I’m a Protestant.” I hugged her until I nearly broke her ribs. We got the even numbers! That school now covers a hillside, 2,500 pupils, and we have children in neutral, unborn yet, waiting to go to Lagan college, not because we had made pet-Catholics or pet-Protestants out of our children, just the opposite. We were going to give them the best education in the world. And we came out top school three years in a row, in all the British isles. That is one of the reasons now why we see peace in my country. All those children, who’ve been educated for all those years, when they got the ballot box, they voted peace. That’s the story of what happened to Northern Ireland. To bring the communities together and to make sure that never again in my country will bullets and bombs be the answers to the problems. We have shown, without any qualms or exaggerations, that non-violence is the weapon of the strong, not the weak. And I also remember saying, that if I really did my job correctly, and properly, that I would be myself out of a job. I’m so honored to be out of a job in Northern Ireland, I think it’s great. But I remember after that too, because… Mairead and I got the Nobel Peace Prize, which is a pretty vague… you know… I personally don’t think that there are any famous people in the world. I think that there are just people who think they are, you know, that which is, totally different. But when

Mairead and I were given the Nobel peace prize, I … for a week, I went away on my own, because I really didn’t know whether I was prepared to give the rest of my life… I’ve given so many years and I still have my own family and I’m… I was thinking really selfishly …I want to go home now, I think it’s done. I don’t want to do this anymore, you know. Because I am a human being. But I guess God had other ideas. We received the Nobel Peace Prize and I’ve said, from that day forth, “The Nobel peace prize is not given for what one has done, but hopefully, for what one will do.” And because the Peace Movement of Ireland started with the death of the children, I would be sent for, to go around countries all over the world, where children were in dire need and where children were suffering beyond belief. My first journey out, and I share this with you, because, of a story once again, it’s not mine. This story is the children’s. My first journey was to Ethiopia. And it was during the awful times, in the early eighties when there were huge floods … and there was terrible famine… terrible death, and destruction. And the Ethiopian government were completely corrupt, so many goods were being sent in to Ethiopia, would lie on the docks, and the government would try to sell goods to the people who couldn’t even afford to buy a loaf of bread, let alone buy the goods. So we took our trucks full of food and medical supplies, we had fourteen trucks on the road, all completely packed with food and medical supplies, to distribute throughout the villages. It was the most horrible way to learn about the suffering of the world’s children. It was the most incredibly painful way to learn about how much suffering goes on, when children are neglected, abused, and punished, in wars that they do not declare and haven’t a say in. If my grandbaby walked through the door of this auditorium, and declared war on any of you, then perhaps war would make a little more sense to me. But children don’t declare war. They just suffer and die in wars. And God doesn’t declare war. If we are going to talk about being Christians, get God’s name out of war, it doesn’t belong in war. It’s said very clearly, to those of us who are Christians: “Thou-Shall-Not-Kill.” There are no “i.e’s” in there. It’s simply “Thou-Shall Not-Kill.” Yet we bless armies to go to war.

President Bush says he praises God - which God? A God that destroys human beings? No. That’s not the God of my understanding, Mr. Bush. The God of my understanding doesn’t kill people.

And on that journey to Ethiopia, at the last village we went to, by then, you’re very emaciated yourself, and you’re suffering from everything, and the people there have to live with on a daily basis, and anywhere you have hair, you would have lice. And for a clean Western person, that’s probably a pretervection, to have lice everywhere in your body. But people there live with that all the time. It’s just a thing that they accept. The last village we went in to, three hundred… over three hundred children there, and I talked to my class justly about this, I have to rephrase that when I say it: there were three hundred children; there were three hundred little pieces of human garbage, because that’s exactly what we’ve made of them. And they were all dying. Every one of them was dying from starvation. Every single day in our world, upwards of forty thousand children, die from conditions of starvation. Every six seconds, somewhere in our world, a child closes its eyes for the last time, before he even had, or she even had, the opportunity to open them. How… how can we allow this to continue? And in that last village, I mean we were out of supplies by then, and I remember thinking to myself, a friend of mine called Bunner Varvik, he was the editor of a newspaper called Fædrelandsvennen (which in Norway, is rather like the New York Times, it’s a really good newspaper… sometimes.

New York Times is not good all the time - sometimes. But I called him and managed to get friendly with an Ethiopian guardsman called Bunner. And we were out with machetes, clearing the place for a little 6-E, 6-seater plane to come in, and start airlifting children from the village to a field hospital the Norwegians had built which would take 35 minutes by air, and four and a half days by road, because the roads were so bad. And into that first airlift of those children, we put forty of those babies, and by the time we had got to the hospital, fourteen of those children had died. Every journey that I have done, I have seen this suffering of children. In Burma, we fight for the freedom of our beloved sister- Aung San Suu Kyi. One of the bravest, most courageous and most beautiful women this world has ever known. I did a journey to Burma. Well, I didn’t get into Burma because they wouldn’t give me a visa to get in. So, the Holiness of Dalai Lama, Archbishop Tutu and myself, went, tried to get into Burma, and they wouldn’t let us in. So we went to visit the refugee camps – or concentration camps – whichever one prefers to call them. Between the borders of Thailand and Burma, there’s a river, and many hundreds of thousands of people crossing that river have been killed. And the children were there, hundreds, and I interviewed two little girls. Again this is not my story, this is theirs’. One of eleven, one of twelve, and I held them with me, one in each arm, and this is their story of what the Burmese dictatorship had done to them. State Law and Order Restoration Council.

They’ve now changed the name to something peaceful. But it’s not. So I still call it State Law and Order Restoration Council. These two little girls, SLORC soldiers had come to their village, these two children had watched, their mother and father dig their graves.

They have watched their mother be raped. They have watched their parents be shot through the back of the head, and thrown into the graves. They have filled in their parents’ graves. They were then taken by the SLORC soldiers to be used to carry their heavy weaponry. If they got a half a cup of rice everyday, that was it. They were lucky. If they fell by the wayside, they would be beaten or abandoned to death. And it was really really bad for the boys. But for the girls, that was only the beginning of their suffering.

Because at night, SLORC soldiers would tie each children to trees, systematically rape them, frequently urinate on them after cutting off their bayonets, and sometimes, put the bayonets of their rifle in the hot fires, and place the bayonet of that rifle into the child’s vagina. This, is not a movie. This, is the reality as to what’s happening to the children. I promised to my two little Burmese babies that I would do my best to help them. But they both had AIDS, and they’re dead now.

And people ask me, why I fight for what I fight for? Why, why isn’t every human being in the world, standing up and doing something about this insanity? Why do we accept war, as being the answer, and violence as being the answer to every single disagreement we have in the world? I had to watch George Bush in television this morning, he’s going to go after Iran now. Not sufficient what he’s done, six hundred and fifty thousand people dead in Iraq, six hundred and fifty thousand people, according to the Lancet Medical Journal, using credible methodology. That’s the number of civilians who have been killed in Iraq, since this second war. What is wrong with you, America? Take your country back! You can’t keep allowing this to happen! You’re not the world’s policeman, and you’re setting a very bad example to others in the world, you’re making people aggressive. This has to stop.

Anyway, I get really passionate as can you see because I’ve never lost that anger. As a matter of fact, as a mother and a grandmother, my anger gets more every single day. It gets steeper and more rooted in me, and by God, I’m gonna change something for the children! That’s my attitude. This year, the World Center of Compassion for Children International, my organization, will begin building the first City of Peace in the world for children, in the region of Basilicata in Italy. We will make a city so beautiful, we will make a city so full of love, we will make a city so full of the things that a child needs, that we will turn out the world’s citizens who will be taught peace since the day and hour they were born. Peace in our world is everybody’s business. It is as much your business, the young women… who came here today. I know you were probably forced to come, and for that I’m sorry. But I’m also glad you’re here, because you’re going to be the future mothers, and you have got to protect the fruit of your womb. If you really love your child, you’ve got to protect it, from anything that would hurt or try to destroy it. And when the women of our world fully realize… please, I love men. Please don’t get me wrong, I have wonderful men in my life. In fact, I love men enough to save their lives, which is why I do this work. War isn’t a glorious thing. And when women really begin to understand they are the givers of life … you give life, don’t let anyone destroy that life you have given.

And I’d like to finish, by saying to you, this is my little dream. And hopefully, if I’ve managed to reach one of you in this audience, I will have done a great day’s work. If I reached more than one, Halleluiah! But really, one is all I’m looking for, because that one will change twenty on their way.

I dreamt of a world without sorrow,
and I dreamt of a world without hate.
I dreamt of a world rejoicing

And I walked to find Christ at my gate.
I dreamt of a world without hunger
and I dreamt of a world without war

I dreamt of a world full of loving

And I walked to find Allah at my door
I dreamt of a world without anger
And I dreamt of a world without pride
I dreamt of a world of compassion

And I walked to find Buddha at my side
I dreamt of this world of tomorrow

And I dreamt of this world set apart
I dreamt of this world full of glory

And I walked to find my Creator in my heart.

Thank you (applause).

Speech from http://www.soka.edu/files/documents/administration/Betty%20Williams%209.20.2007.pdf.