Why did we write Great Peacemakers? The short answer is to celebrate the peacemakers and uplift and inspire our readers. The long answer is that it wasn’t so much of a decision, as a process. Soon after we got married, an idea started to form in Heather’s mind about writing a book about people who inspire hope. This was after the release of her first book, Beauty Without the Beast, which she saw as promoting nonviolence toward animals. This new book she saw as expanding that spirit outward to include nonviolence toward animals, nature, and people.

Tentatively calling the book Heroes of Hope, Heather started studying people who had created nonviolent change to help animals, nature, and people and who inspire hope. But, the title was confusing. Did the heroes inspire hope or have hope? As Ken joined the project, it eventually dawned on us that these people were peacemakers in their own way. So, we renamed the book Great Peacemakers.

In researching and writing the book, we saw ourselves as students and reporters, deeply studying the peacemakers’ lives and wisdom and distilling this knowledge into short summaries that used straightforward language that would be accessible a wide range of readers.

Along the way, the peacemakers’ insights helped us open our eyes to new views and reflect deeply on our lives. To take just one example, Dr. Albert Schweitzer was most famous for his medical service in the African jungle. But, he believed his greatest contribution to the world was his lesser-known ethic of Reverence for Life. Naturally, that made us reflect on what might be our greatest contribution. So far, we believe it is this book.

How about you? What do you imagine will be your greatest contribution to the world?