2024 A New Beginning—Let There Be Peace on Earth!

2024 A New Beginning—Let There Be Peace on Earth!

The New Year marks the beginning of a fresh start for many of us. Indeed! A new beginning! As we say in Hawai‘i, Aloha Oe and goodbye to 2023, in the spirit of welcome to many promises for better days ahead. A fresh start motivates us to consider that project we have been thinking about for a long time and gives us the energy to face our lives with renewed zeal, zest, hope and joy.

As we reflect on the numerous challenges before us, along with the heartaches haunting some of our closest loved ones, let us choose to embrace hope for the better and seize the countless opportunities awaiting us. Let us release and let go of the mindset of never good enough, and replace it with a positive I am good enough! Let our new start commence with loving ourselves, knowing we are created by God as special beings, fully equipped and endowed with everything we need to serve others. And as we continue to grow, let us remember we are not expected to achieve perfection—because each of us is a work in progress.

If you plan to make some New Year’s resolutions for 2024, let us resolve to be a peacemaker, an encourager, a positive influencer—more kind, more forgiving of those who may have wronged us in the past. Too often, our New Year’s resolutions are focused on ourselves—like lose weight, save more money, travel adventure, learn a new hobby, get a new car or spend more time with family and friends. Let’s make this year’s resolutions be about how we can help to bring peace to the world. As many of us have sung,

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant be.
With God as Creator, brothers/sisters all are we.
Let us live with each other in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
With every breath I take, let this be my solemn vow,
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

In January, we celebrate a holiday honoring the life and legacy of peacemaking of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose leadership and ultimate sacrifice for the civil rights movement changed forever, the trajectory of history for many Americans of color. In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his “non-violent struggle for civil rights for the Afro-American population,” an annual award to the person or organization, “who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

Of the twenty-two American recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, some of the most notable include: Theodore Roosevelt (1906), Woodrow Wilson (1919), Charles Gates Darwin (1925), Jane Addams (1931), Ralph Bunche (1950), Linus Pauling (1954, 1962), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964), Henry Kissinger (1973), Jimmy Carter (2002), Al Gore (2007) and Barack Obama (2009).

Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a monetary award that has varied throughout the years. It is one of the five prizes established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel (who died in 1896) for outstanding contributions in chemistry, literature, medicine, peace, physics or physiology. The peace prize is presented annually on December 10 in Oslo in the presence of the King of Norway.

In these past few years, our political discord has fueled division within our nation—mistrust—and has oftentimes led to violence. Let each of us make peace our priority and restore the goodness of humanity. The Bible also reminds us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid.” And in Romans 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

In this year, 2024, may you all have good health, good experiences and good friends.

Cheers for another year! Wishing you all new beginnings. Make this year memorable with lasting positive outcomes! Happy New Year and May the Grace of God bless you and your family with His abundant love and joy!