JANUARY 1, 1957
HYDE PARK—This is New Year's Day. It is the time for new decisions and for new considerations as to our course in the new year.
I wonder what most of us will think of as the most important resolution to make, both in a public way and for ourselves as individuals, during the coming year.
Each year I hope for the world a period for the making of permanent peace throughout the world. I can see this as being accomplished, however, only if we find some basis of understanding with the Soviet Union.
We are still a long way from accomplishing this. So I think this year I shall be hoping that in ways as yet undecided we shall find new openings through which to create greater confidence in the United States and through which to acquire for ourselves greater understanding of the rest of the world.
These are ways that would lead to peace, and I think they are things each one of us can develop as individuals whenever we get an opportunity to know anyone from another country. We should take every opportunity to broaden our understanding and pray to be given a gift of perceptive intuition and the humility to learn.
For myself, I want only the opportunity to be useful to those I love, enough work to be interesting, but not so much that it is impossible to enjoy personal relationships as well.
We come to this new year in a world that is fairly disturbed, but we can be grateful that there exists an organization called the United Nations. Sometimes people think the U.N. is a futile organization because it cannot use force, but on the whole it has saved us from war in the Near East and I am sure it will eventually help us solve the problem of lack of confidence between the Soviets and ourselves.
This lack of trust is at the bottom of many of the evils in the world today. If we could be sure, for instance, that neither country would really try to control the Near East and that both would live up to their promises, it probably would not be difficult to persuade the Arab nations that they could develop in peace without fear from outsiders. And they might come to see that agreement is possible among each other.
If the rest of Europe were sure that the Soviets would not try to dominate anywhere except where they now have control, there would be much less emphasis on building up military power and the well-being of people would be considered far more important. That might even change the Soviet attitude towards its satellites and greater freedom might result.
These are all things to be worked for and hoped for in the year to come, and I pray that we all unite to accomplish some forward steps at least.