Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all – once more with feeling!

A post I wrote 4 years ago entitled Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men: wouldn’t that be nice! is getting renewed interest during this special season. Written four long years ago now.  Long before the January 6 riots in the U.S.  Long before we had even heard of COVID, or wearing masks, social distancing, anti-vaxxers, and “circuit breakers”.  Long before Mother Nature made it abundantly clear, over and over again, that climate change was real and was going to wreak havoc across the planet.  Before the Truckers Convoy in Ottawa. And before Putin decided he’d destroy and destabilize the lives of millions upon millions by invading Ukraine, for no valid reason but to assuage his own ego. Four years on and the message hasn’t changed, it’s only grown more urgent. As many of us celebrate the messages of hope brought by Chanukah and Christmas, let’s stop to think about how we can play our part in bringing peace on earth, goodwill towards all, even if it’s just within our own communities.  We have to start somewhere.

Before I let that 4-year old post speak for itself – because the message hasn’t really changed – let me repeat the reminders I prefaced this repost with last year. Let me remind you of just how powerful a smile can be to someone who is struggling with exhaustion, loneliness, or despair.  Let me remind you of just how powerful a simple “thank you” can be to someone who’s serving a sometimes testy public from behind a mask in these stressful times.  These small gifts are among the best thing we can give to others, and also the best things we can receive.  Kindness and helping each other is what makes life worthwhile, the little things that help people feel connected and appreciated during such uncertain times.  Give the gift of kindness today and every day.  You’ll feel much better.

And now for a reblog from Dec 23, 2018 of Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men: wouldn’t that be nice! (with some minor updates):

It’s the Christmas season. Whether you lean more towards spiritual traditions or secular ones – or both – it’s the time when songs and greeting cards ring out with heartwarming messages of Peace, Joy, Love, and Goodwill towards all.  Hmm. I’m sorry to say this – very sad, indeed – but surely I’m not the only one thinking that these are pretty hollow words this year.  What peace?  What joy?  Within families, one can hope.  Within communities, definitely possible.  But the world at large doesn’t even seem to be pretending to be working towards peace and joy at the moment.  We’ve been plugging holes in the metaphorical dykes, but as soon as one hole is plugged, another one seems to start leaking – or gushing. A world order based on cooperation, compassion, and compromise has become a pipe dream.

So what can an individual do to give renewed credibility to these important messages of peace, love, joy, and goodwill to all? We can only do so much, but we can do some things.  We can start by nurturing ourselves.  We can work harder to find ways to concentrate on positive activities instead of dwelling on (valid) reasons for despair.  We can reach out to others in our community to spread positive and supportive thoughts and deeds.  [And when it comes time to vote, we can ask the right questions and then vote for the parties whose policies encourage peace on earth, goodwill towards all.]


One of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs (and I have several) speaks powerfully to the challenges we currently face. These lyrics are the refrain from his 1992 song, “Anthem”; in Cohen’s own compelling way he reminds us that there is always hope in the darkness:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

And a recent blog post by Joyce Hopewell, in her blog Eyes in the back of my Head, offers some very good advice for how each of us can contribute to letting the light back in:


“So here are some suggestions of what you and I could do at this time of year to bring light into our lives, and the lives of others around us:

  • Light a candle – simple and easy – remember the saying that it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
  • Call a friend – reconnect with someone you’ve not been in touch with for a while.
  • Perform a random act of kindness – just do it!
  • Take a risk and smile at strangers as you walk down the street – this one is very rewarding.
  • Say hello to someone you don’t know – you could follow up the smile with this one.
  • Glow with joy and a warmth of spirit…and it will come back to you in spades.

 And may the warmth of friendship be wrapped around you at this time of year.” 

With these thoughts in mind, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. My desire for all of us is that by this time next year – somehow, some way – the seasonal wishes of Peace, Joy, Love, and Goodwill to all will not seem as hollow as they do at this moment. May our hope be restored.

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28 Responses to Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all – once more with feeling!

  1. Thank you, Jane, for saying all the things in your own reblog that I was thinking I might write – until I realised that I’d already said similar things myself in a previous seasonal blog – and saw you’d reblogged that for me! So thank you for that, and thank you for all the important reminders that you’ve sent out into the WordPress ether, along with a succunct summary of why, in the face of all the dreadful stuff about, we need to spread a great deal of light, joy, love and goodwill around – and make a habit of it that lasts way beyond the festive season. Sending you and your family warmth and happiness across the miles, now, and throughout the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Eyes in the back of my Head and commented:
    I was wondering what I might write at this, the turning point of the year, when the Sun stands still before moving on, and the light gradually begins to return to those of us who live in the northern hemisphere. The message in Jane Fritz’s post is age-old but still brand new because we forget that the goodwill which surfaces more obviously at this time of year is always available, and we all need reminders. Jane has kindly reblogged something I wrote couple of years ago as part of her post (thanks Jane). The messages are all there – let’s remember to share the warmth of friendship at this, the turning point of the year – and beyond.


  3. Thank you for a reminder of the power of a smile and a thank you, both so easy yet so underused. Looking forward to longer days and a little more warmth returning to our Northern climes.
    Have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Musings and Wonderings and commented:
    Thanks to Jane and Joyce for these reminders of the power of smiles and thank yous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Technically taking a break from blogging but had to read this post. Yes, indeed! None of the suggestions are difficult. Even a random act of kindness can be simple.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. LA says:

    Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And whatever else you celebrate!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Victoria says:

    Thanks, Jane! Happy Holidays to you as well. Your reminders that kindnesses mean everything…especially the simple act of smiling at strangers, small acts of compassion. They are the most delightful moments in my life – all year ’round. xo! ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. All of the comments have hit the nail on the head, so to speak!! You have encouraged me to address this with my family, friends and followers. Thank you!! You always tend to make my day brighter in so many ways!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Rose says:

    This was wonderful to read! May Peace and Goodwill for All be a Christmas wish come true this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. heimdalco says:

    Once again, a lovely message. I started to tear up BEFORE getting to your re-blog.

    During the worst of COVID it became so apparent to me that we really can’t control the world. What we CAN do is change our lives, change our immediate environment, change the direction of our community. That is where our power lies. Nationally we can make certain we are informed & vote. I said that to a friend of mine … a 30+ year friendship. He is currently writing his 3rd. book & asked me to write a chapter about just this topic. I was honored & got to work on it immediately.

    Perhaps if we all do what we can ‘immediately’ in our small sphere of influence, the ripples will spread & we WILL be able to have quite an influence. It is, as you said, all about that ominous crack that actually lets the light in.

    Merry Christmas to you & your lovely family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks so much, Linda. Not only do I know you agree with these sentiments but I know that you live by them. You do much work to spread kindness and compassion, leading by example. Wishing you and your family the happiest of Christmases.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Margaret says:

    A lovely, meaningful message Jane. I can hear the genuineness in your words but sadly it’s not there with those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. The hypocrisy of Christmas! Let’s do it all year as you suggest. Yes, smiles and acts of kindness give out warmth and light and we certainly need more of those but to be truly effective we need for them not to be superficial or meaningless; we need some depth behind them. I’ve talked a lot about this over the last year or so and I’m sorry to say I don’t see much improvement. Too much reliance on shallow pleasantries and hollow words in my opinion. Like you, I really hope things improve for all our sakes. Just listening to Leonard Cohen’s ‘Anthem’ makes me more hopeful!

    Thank you for your inspiring, thoughtful posts this year.
    Have a lovely Christmas and a “merry” 🍷and fulfilling 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Hi Margaret. I can’t disagree, sadly. We need our leaders lead with integrity and to remember that they’re “leading” for all. It hasn’t been a good year that way, especially in the UK. I wish I could be more reassuring. But we can at least walk the talk ourselves and try to lead by example. Wishing you and yours contentment this holiday season. 😊🎄

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jean says:

    We have much to be grateful living in a country at peace. Hopefully not at war in our lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautifully said, Jane, and you’re so right. Kindness and compassion and reaching out to help is needed now more than ever. I love the lines you quoted from Leonard Cohen.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This was beautiful, Jane. Kindness and compassion meaning everything, especially now. Ring the bells…. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Roy McCarthy says:

    Well said and articulated as usual Jane. Indeed an unsolicited smile, word or gesture is easy and rewarding, and it can be contagious. I find our community here pretty good in that respect. Yes we can complain and grumble at length but generally we are not slow in helping each other along as best we can. Happy Christmas Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Roy. Yes, I think you and I both live in places that have a somewhat calmer pace of life, which allows us to find time and patience for others. And gratitude for it being so. Merry Christmas to you, too.


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