JANUARY 1, 1959
NEW YORK—This is New Year's Day, ushering in 1959.
Shall we make wishes for the new year? Or have we made so many in the past that we have become discouraged? Shall we make new resolutions or repeat old ones, wondering whether we will be able to keep them?
I hope that everywhere in our country the majority of the people will be able to find something for which they can be grateful on this New Year's Day, if it is only gratitude that they are still alive and can hope for better things in the New Year.
For myself, I shall wish for sufficient power of appreciation so that I can be fully grateful for the family and friends and other people who are constantly around me and who really make my enjoyment in living.
Love and its expression is the most important thing in our daily lives, and one of the things I rejoice in most is the great privilege, whenever it is granted me, to be able to give, either in material things or in loving companionship, something which may enrich a little the lives of those I love.
For people everywhere, let us wish this New Year's Day that the opportunities to live a richer, fuller life will develop through international understanding and international effort.
Let us remember, nevertheless, that international achievement depends on individual achievement, that what we achieve in our own minds and hearts and in our own surroundings will spread out like the ripples when we throw a pebble into an unruffled pool. So no one can say what happens to an individual is unimportant, for no one knows how some individual act may ripple out even into international channels.
MAY we learn everywhere in our own country this coming year what it means to believe in the Christian religion. Christ never threw the first stone at any human beings to make life more difficult for them. He never said that anyone of us had more value than any other.
He recognized that there were differences in opportunity for learning, but He showed us once or twice that it is what we are as human beings and what we do with our opportunities that really matters, not the mere fact that we have these opportunities.
As I read the story of Christ, I think He was often too busy to notice the externals about people. This was true because he was so concerned about what people were really like inside, and He had the power of insight sometimes denied us but which, I believe, if we try hard enough to develop, will be granted us.
MAY this new year bring to all of you happiness, health, peace on earth, and peace in your hearts, and may all of us be granted the opportunity to work, both for our own interests and achievements and for the achievements of those we love. And may we have our share in helping the world attain the greatest opportunity in peace for development of human understanding and happiness.