Love Can Change the World

“From my own life I can tell you. It’s not what you get out of life. It’s what you give to others in life which truly enriches your own life...Remember the importance of giving and receiving love. For with love and moral leadership, you will begin to change the world.”
Sargent Shriver |Hartford, CT| May 21, 2004

Our Quote of the Week defines love in a quintessentially Shriveresque way: as an action expressed through service, and also as a power that can transform us. Although Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, Shriver’s message of love is enduring and essential in the creation of a more peaceful and just world.

At the age of 88, Sargent Shriver received an honorary degree from the University of Hartford, where he gave this short but impactful speech. He emphasized the importance of service as the way to effect change and to achieve true success, and he called on his audience to be peacemakers, saying:

No calling is higher, no calling is more needed. You are called to be peacemakers in your families, in your neighborhoods and in your workplaces. If you want to eliminate guns and all lethal weapons from the world, first you must get them out of our own hearts!

Shriver himself put his beliefs about love and service into action throughout his career. His work in civil rights, his leadership in the Peace Corps and the War on Poverty, his efforts in nuclear disarmament, his influence on the growth of Special Olympics, and his impact in the area of poverty law all demonstrate his ability to effect change, to serve, and to inspire others to do the same.

May we carry Shriver’s message of love and service with us, and may we have the courage to put it into action today and every day.

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Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
Sargent Shriver
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