JANUARY 2, 1956
HYDE PARK—Here we are again at New Year's Day and everyone is supposed to make New Year's resolutions. Perhaps the resolutions made by the average person count for very little, so we will consider just what the great people of our country may be making as their New Year's resolutions.
For instance, if you were the President, what would you wish for in the new year?
First, perhaps you would hope to take more time to rest. You would pray to make less effort yourself and insist on having advisors who would take the blame for everything that went wrong and give credit to you for everything that turned out successfully. You might wish that the Soviet Union would continue its attacks on you, for this would create greater sympathy for you at home and make easier your task of keeping people antagonistic to any proposals made by the Soviets.
And right here we come to the Secretary of State. I am sure he would wish for more ability to remember that what he says will have a different meaning as it strikes the ears of other peoples throughout the world. He must also fervently wish for more time to regulate his department at home, and less need for constant trips throughout the world.
If you were some of our leading defense authorities, you must hope for new discoveries that would make it more possible to keep ahead of all other governments, and to keep worrying the Soviets by insisting that you know something they don't know.
But, now, what do you and I, the everyday little people, really wish for?
We wish for a peaceful world. We wish for a united country at home, we wish for a job that seems secure and brings us in enough to support ourselves and our families decently and provides a little extra to set aside for a rainy day.
We wish for greater opportunities for our children than we had ourselves. We wish for them the ability to grasp those opportunities. We wish for confidence in our neighbors at home and abroad, and we hope for leaders who will be able to explain to us their policies so that we may understand where our country stands in relation to the world.
We trust in God, but we look upon our national leaders as those who are entrusted with carrying out His policies here on earth. Sometimes we ask impossible things of our earthly leaders, but, if they inspire us with confidence, in return, we give them support and affection such as few people in the world receive from their citizens. I believe we identify ourselves more closely with our government and our leaders than do any other peoples of the world.
If I have correctly imagined the wishes that are in the hearts of the highest officials and the ordinary people of our land, then we can all join in one prayer this New Year's Day: O, Lord, give us vision and understanding and courage to recognize the brotherhood of the peoples of the world and the need for cooperation among us to achieve the basic hopes of all mankind.