Just over a hundred years ago, NFPB’s Secretary, Robert Long, wrote a powerful piece of text two days after Britain declaring war, asking ‘What Shall We Do?’ . We are producing this simple A5 leaflet in 2014 for Friends and others to use. This may be particuarly appropriate over the period of, and events relating to, the centenary of Britain going to war in 1914 (4th August) but also for other occasions. Please get in touch with the NFPB office if you would like to order some of these or download one of the pdfs below to print your own.
The text of our new leaflet reads as follows:
One hundred years ago, Europe found itself at the beginning of what would be a catastrophic war. Hopes that it would be quick were left in tatters four years later as the world took stock of an horrendous toll of death and injury. The legacy of unresolved enmities and industrialised militarism cast a shadow across the rest of that century.
As we contemplate how such a brutal and devastating chain of events could have come about then, we are compelled also to look with alarm at our much more recent history. Our country has waged unnecessary wars which have ruined lives and sown the seeds of yet further violent conflict.
We remain encouraged, as Quakers were 100 years ago, by the dedication and vision of so many people who are committed to playing their part in laying the foundations of peace, and in resisting contemporary militarism and bigotry. We appeal to all to seek opportunities to help build a legacy of peace and justice for our children, our grandchildren, and for all humankind across the planet.
We know that justice, truth and equality are cornerstones of good relations between people, from neighbours to nations. We know too that the world 100 years on is much better equipped with the skills of peace-building. All these must be promoted, resourced, learned and put into practice.
There is another way. We must relearn the ability to live in harmony in this fragile and endangered world.
“Let us then try what love can do.” (William Penn, Quaker, 1693)