Before Bob Vortuba’s One Million Acts of Kindness, there was Peace Pilgrim: a woman who repeatedly walked across America from 1953 – 1981 to spread her message of peace. Her message was simple: “When enough of us find inner peace, our institutions will become more peaceful and there will be no more occasion for war.”
Peace Pilgrim, as she wished to be called, was an extraordinary woman, known to have boundless energy and no fear. She walked by herself throughout the country, carrying her only possessions in her pocket-filled tunic, which included her toothbrush, comb and Steps for Inner Peace pamphlets to hand out. Her tunic, which read “Peace Pilgrim” on the front and “25,000 Miles on Foot for Peace” on the back, was the only way she drew attention to herself, and she found most people to be kind, curious, and giving. While Peace never accepted money, she would accept room and board from churches and groups who wanted to hear her speak.
The good news about Peace Pilgrim is that her inspirational life continues to touch people to this day. In honor of her birthday, the Fourth Annual Celebration of Peace Pilgrim will take place from September 16th-18th in her hometown of Egg Harbor City, NJ. Her positive message can also be discovered in her book, Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words, published by some of her friends after her death. I love this book because it not only offers profound wisdom, but also practical steps for anyone who wants to help make this world a more peaceful place.