Spiritual teacher and pacifist Peace Pilgrim was born with the name Mildred Lisette Norman in 1908. She dedicated her life to spreading a simple message: peace on Earth.
She became the first woman to walk the Appalachian Trail in a single season in 1952. In 1953 she changed her name to "Peace Pilgrim" and walked across the US for 28 years, discussing the issue of peace. At the time of her death in 1981, she was on her seventh cross-country journey.
I love how animated and completely joyful she is in her final television interview from 1981, the year she died.
From the interview:
I will say that the real turning point in my life came about 43 years ago when I came out of my empty life of money and things and began to live to give instead of to get.
Oh, it was just the most wonderful change in my life! My life just blossomed out.
I remember three things that happened: I attained the great blessing of good health. You know I haven't had an ache of pain or a cold or a headache since.
I knew my life work was going to be to work for peace, not only the outer peace but the inner peace, which I talk about the most because that's where peace begins. It's very good to know what your life work is because then you can get busy on it.
And the third thing, long after I had finished the physical growing up and I had finished the mental growing up, I had enough knowledge to get along. I could make my own decisions and I had finished the emotional growing up. I could get along with people and with myself. I began the spiritual growing up, which takes you from the self-centered life into the life where you see yourself in proper perspective as part of the whole and work for the good of the whole. it was doing that growing and finding inner peace that prepared me for the pilgrimage that I walk today.