Wednesday, 18 February 2015


“Yes, we love peace, but we are not willing to take wounds for it, as we are for war.” - John Holmes

The following is an excerpt from a message which a Romanian writer, Constant-Virgil Gheorghiu (1916-1992), sent to the South Korean people in 1972. Gheorghiu was persecuted in his native country for his liberal and anti-totalitarian views and sought refuge in France. His most important work La Vingt-cinquieme Heure is famed throughout the world. In 1974 he visited Korea and gave a lecture to the Korean people. This message originally written in French, was translated into English:

“You have lived through a long history of trials and tribulations, but you are not pitiable losers. Each one of you is the king. Do not forget this. Those of the powerful countries who commit aggression and impose their domination over others may not know that you are the kings.

Those who live in large countries, in the glory of victory, in wealth and boredom may not know the beauty of humanitarian love of those who hold hands and offer their sympathies to each other. They may not know the happiness that is created from hardships.

Have courage. Even the history of hardships could not take away your beautiful poetry, songs, and prayers. You possess the soul that the world has lost.

You, who possess the soul of the king! What you have created are not refrigerators, television sets, or automobiles. What you have created are the everlasting smiles and peace for mankind which could overcome earthly things and shed bright light. What I have said about the east from which the light may come may very well mean the small country of Korea where you live. There should be no surprise if one said that the tomorrow's light will rise from your country of Korea.

It is so because you are the people who have overcome countless hardships and come out victorious from each hardship. You are the people who raised your heads high with bravery, wisdom, and inner strength in the midst of trials and tribulations.”

peace |pēs| noun
1 freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility: You can while away an hour or two in peace and seclusion.
• mental calm; serenity: The peace of mind this insurance gives you.
2 freedom from or the cessation of war or violence: The Straits were to be open to warships in time of peace.
• [in sing. ] a period of this: The peace didn’t last.
• [in sing. ] a treaty agreeing to the cessation of war between warring states: Support for a negotiated peace.
• freedom from civil disorder: Police action to restore peace.
• freedom from dispute or dissension between individuals or groups: The 8.8 percent offer that promises peace with the board.
3 (the peace) a ceremonial handshake or kiss exchanged during a service in some churches (now usually only in the Eucharist), symbolising Christian love and unity. See also kiss of peace.
1 used as a greeting.
2 used as an order to remain silent.
at peace 1 free from anxiety or distress. • dead (used to suggest that someone has escaped from the difficulties of life). 2 in a state of friendliness: A man at peace with the world.
hold one’s peace remain silent about something.
keep the peace refrain or prevent others from disturbing civil order: The police must play a crucial role in keeping the peace.
make peace (or one’s peace) reestablish friendly relations; become reconciled: Not every conservative has made peace with big government.
no peace for the weary = no rest for the weary.
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French pais, from Latin pax, pac- ‘peace.’

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