His Holiness The Dalai Lama

"Until very recently, many people felt that disagreements and conflicts between nations and communities could only be resolved through war or the threat of force. Although everyone wishes to live in peace, we are often confused about how it can be achieved. Violence inevitably leads to more violence. It is not the solution - definitely not in the long term. Today, more and more people are realising that the proper way of resolving differences is through dialogue, compromise and discussions, through human understanding and humility. There is a growing appreciation that genuine peace comes about through mutual understanding, respect and trust. This is an encouraging and positive sign.

It has never been more urgent that we seek a genuine determination to achieve global demilitarisation. However, I believe that in order to have the confidence to eliminate physical weapons, some kind of inner disarmament is necessary. To begin with we need to embark on the difficult task of developing love and compassion within ourselves. Only in this way can we address the underlying causes that disturb and prevent peace and happiness.
When we are able to develop love and compassion, first within ourselves and then extending such feelings towards others, we will find that peace is not merely the absence of war, but a state of tranquillity founded on the deep sense of security that arises from mutual understanding, tolerance of others' points of view, and respect for their rights. Peace is not something which exists independently of us, nor is war. The political leaders, policymakers and army generals who have responsibilities with respect to peace are members of our own human family, the society that we as individuals have helped create. Peace in the world thus depends on peace in the hearts of individuals.
Whenever we pursue noble goals, obstacles and difficulties are bound to occur. As human beings, we may lose hope. But as there is nothing to be gained from discouragement, our determination must be very firm. According to my own limited experience, we can transform ourselves and make a difference. If we all were to spend a few minutes every day, thinking about these things and trying to develop a sense of inner peace, eventually it will become part of our lives and then everything we do will contribute to peace in the world."

The Dalai Lama