JANUARY 1, 1951
HYDE PARK, Sunday—New Year's Day this year seems to be especially significant, for it is a year of crisis. All through the past week we have been getting warnings that the United Nations forces would be attacked in a major offensive by the Chinese Communists, either before or on New Year's Day.
But whatever happens in Korea will not answer the questions troubling mankind today. Korea is just one of the developments of the general unrest in the world.
In coping with the immediate problems facing us, we must not forget to look with care at the basic difficulties in the world. Starvation, lack of shelter, lack of clothing, lack of opportunity to enjoy life—these are the things that bring the world to the edge of doom today.
Each segment of the globe has been divided in the past by difficulties of communication and transportation. Today these difficulties can be overcome; we can know what is happening to people everywhere. That information is needed because even if we are unable to prevent another war, even if we drop back hundreds of years in our civilization, those surviving will be able to acquire the knowledge preserved rather quickly, and the fight will begin all over again to find the basis on which a peaceful world can be built. I think this New Year's Day everyone of us should pledge ourselves to work as we have never worked before for the preservation of peace with honor and to begin to work out the problems that are basic. The misery of the world must be alleviated.
People must hope for a better life before we can hope for any permanent peace.
If the Russians think that a war would bring them greater prosperity and that trying to govern the whole world would bring them greater happiness, then nothing will deter them from war. Since people who have known freedom will not easily be made slaves, that war will be a war to the death for many people. But if we can persuade the Russians that cooperation with the rest of the world is possible and in the end more advantageous to all, war may be avoided and we may be able to try out through the United Nations, the economic, social and cultural programs which may change the face of the earth.
That is the vision we must hold in mind for 1951. Pray God for the ability to dream and the determination to seek the realization of our dream.