40 Days of Peace

How do you connect your faith with personal actions? In conjunction with this year's Martin Luther King, Jr. Study Day theme at Goshen College — "This Far by Faith: Christ, Hope, and Survival" — the Study Day Committee is launching a "40 Days of Peace" initiative on January 17, 2011. This initiative coincides with the study day and invites students, faculty, staff, and community members to extend practices of peacemaking into their daily interactions with others. Many of these acts of peace may already be familiar, but the purpose of the initiative is to invite each of us into a more intentional linking of our faith with action in the world.

Your commitment to taking on the challenge of the 40 Acts of Peace during this period will enable you to do your part in creating your community of peace and expand relational horizons by:

1. Having an awareness of ourselves and how we affect others through our words and actions
2. Taking an interest in, and a concern for, other people
3. Thinking before we act
4. Choosing how to act in each situation

It takes small steps to make great leaps on the path to peace. Make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others on your journey towards being a PEACEMAKER.

Pledge to join/participate in the 40 Days of Peace. Sign up at:

Date Act of Peace Quote
Jan. 17

Join in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service project today

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil rights leader.  “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve”
Jan. 18

Cease all negative words and comments about or towards others today

John F. Kennedy. 35th President of the United States. “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country”
Jan. 19

Take a deep breath if you’re angry – and wait to speak more peacefully today

Mohandas Gandhi. Political and spiritual leader of India. “An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind”
Jan. 20

Compliment at least two people today

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil rights leader. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others”
Jan. 21

Say “Thank you” to at least two people today

Baruch Spinoza. 17th-century philosopher. “Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.”
Jan. 22

Forgive someone today

Eleanor Roosevelt. First Lady of the United States (1933-1945). “It isn't enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn't enough to to believe in it, one must work for it.”
Jan. 23

Send five positive email messages to people you haven’t communicated with in a while today

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil rights leader.  “We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”
Jan. 24

Do not complain or talk negatively about anyone today

Gautama Buddha. Founder of Buddhism. "Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace."
Jan. 25 Say “Thank you” to at least four people today Maya Angelou. American poet. “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate --- thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.”
Jan. 26

Help someone in need today

Aristotle. Greek philosopher. “Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
Jan. 27

Compliment at least four people today

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil rights leader. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Jan. 28

Let go of an age-old grudge that is affecting your own peace of mind today

Mother Teresa. Humanitarian. “A smile is the beginning of peace.”
Jan. 29

Make a special effort not to snap at anyone today

Confucius. Founder of Confucianism. “To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.”
Jan. 30

Talk to a person around you whom you usually ignore today

Albert Einstein. Physicist. “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.”
Jan. 31

Be patient with an irritating person today

Thomas Jefferson. 3rd President of the United States. "It is reasonable that everyone who asks justice should do justice."
Feb. 1

Uplift four people today

Theodore Roosevelt. 26th President of the United States. “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
Feb. 2

Say “Thank you” to at least four people today

Mother Teresa. Humanitarian. "If you want to work for world peace, go home and love your families."
Feb. 3

Serve at least two people today

Lao Tzu. Chinese Philosopher. “If there is to be peace in the cities, There must be peace between neighbors; If there is to be peace between neighbors, There must be peace in the home; If there is to be peace in the home, There must be peace in the heart.”
Feb. 4

Reach out and connect to two people who are very different from you today

Benjamin Franklin. Influential Founding Father of the United States. “I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.”
Feb. 5

Write a long overdue “thank you” note today

Bono. Musician, songwriter, humanitarian. "You can't fix every problem, but what you can fix, you must."  
Feb. 6

Take time to listen to someone who is sad or depressed today

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil rights leader. “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
Feb. 7

Think of the good qualities of someone whom you are having difficulty with and focus on these today

Mohandas Gandhi. Political and spiritual leader of India. “We must be the change we wish to see.”
Feb. 8

Compliment at least eight people today

Ann Landers. Syndicated advice columnist. “The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.” 
Feb. 9

Make a donation to a project in a developing country today

Abraham Lincoln. US president. “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”
Feb. 10

Ask how you can help…then help…today

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Feb. 11

Forgive someone today

Nelson Mandela. 11th President of South Africa. “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
Feb. 12

Do an unpleasant chore without complaining today

George Bernard Shaw. Irish dramatist & socialist. “You see things; and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"”
Feb. 13

Reach out to a family member who is estranged or distant today

Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 32nd President of the United States. “The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man or one party or one nation. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world”
Feb. 14

Respond to rudeness with a carefully chosen peaceful word today

Norman Vincent Peale. Author. “Change your thoughts, and you change your world.”
Feb. 15

Apologize to a person you realize you’ve offended today

Edmund Burke. English statesman. "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Feb. 16

Make a contribution of your time and help a co-worker or classmate today

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil rights leader. “The believer in non-violence is the person who will willingly allow himself to be the victim of violence but will never inflict violence upon another”
Feb. 17

Appreciate at least four people today

Ralph Waldo Emerson. American philosopher, essayist, poet. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself; nothing, but the triumph of principles.”
Feb. 18

Refrain from judging others today

Mother Teresa. Humanitarian. “I don't do great things. I do small things with great love.”
Feb. 19

Give gratitude to at least four people today

Albert Einstein. Physicist. “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding”
Feb. 20

Reach out and connect to four people who are very different from you today

Eleanor Roosevelt. First Lady of the United States 1933-1945. "It isn't enough to talk about peace; one must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it; one must work at it."
Feb. 21

Say “thank you” to at least eight people today

Mohandas Gandhi. Political and spiritual leader of India. “If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed. But hate these things in yourself, not in another.”
Feb. 22

Apologize to someone today

Benito Juarez. President of Mexico, regarded as Mexico's greatest and most beloved leader. “Peace is the respect for the rights of others. (El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz)”
Feb. 23 Donate your talent to someone in your community today Mark Twain. American author. “Always do right—this will gratify some and astonish the rest.”
Feb. 24 Reach out to someone from a different generation than yours and uplift them today Margaret Mead. Anthropologist. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has.”
Feb. 25

Discuss with co-workers, classmates, family members or neighbors ways in which you can  make a difference in your community today

Alexandr Solzhenitzyn. Russian novelist."The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes nor between parties either — but right through the human heart." 


40 Days of Peace is an initiative of Service for Peace, Inc. Learn more at

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