Pierre Ceresole speaks – Archives of Service Civil International

Pierre Ceresole speaks

by Philipp Rodriguez (Jun 23, 2006)

These days Peter and are working in the Archives. On the ‘to do’‘ list there are many small files here and there. Among them is a tiny publication, 3 x 5 cm, from 1951 with “Pierre Ceresole speaks“[2] as  its title. Marius from the Netherlands brought it to me some weeks ago. On a few pages it lists quotes from the founder of SCI. I think it is worth to citing and commenting here these quotes on voluntary service for peace, all of which refer to SCI of course.

“What is impressive is that as word follows word the effect is weaker, while with each stroke of the pick the effect is stronger. one gets disgusted with words; one does not get disgusted with creative service.”

The very first SCI motto “deeds not words” is thus explained in detail.

“The joyful happy, free collaboration of men working and living for each other – that is the true miracle which can bring about all other specific miracles.”

Ceresole points out, that apart from the work and the project itself, the workcamp is also important as a living community.

“The learning of solidarity must begin ‘way down’, where man still sees his own interest easily and directly.”

Interesting that he uses the terms learning and solidarity. In the 80s these were the keywords in redefining North-South Exchanges.

“The position of the pacifist is unbearable if he does not undertake intense, practical action on his own … We need the firm rock of well-directed action if we are to resist the terrible drift dragging us towards reactions of fear, hatred, and violence.”

Here also the “Deeds” represents the way to a peaceful world.

[1] Helene Monastier, Dora Willson, Leonard S.Kenworthy: Pierre Ceresole speaks.
Brooklyn, New York (1951)(SCIIA 10104.14)
Picture: Pierre Ceresole speaking at a meeting of Socialists des Montagne Neuchchâteloise (1926)