May you remain peaceful and free Samoa, God bless.

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Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa

And so once again, it is that time of the year when the violent death of Jesus Christ 2016 years ago - having been celebrated once again in Samoa Sunday last week with the sharing of gifts and thanksgiving - is still also accepted as the most pacifying event ever in the world today.

We all know the story behind Jesus Christ’s birth; and it’s his death though that remains that sad, stubborn enigma we’re talking about here now.

What we want to know is how can we glean from Jesus Christ’s death that knowledge which may help guide us safely throughout the year up ahead, so that finally when we emerge in the next one beyond as it’s waiting patiently by are we still alright so that if there is doubt, would some well conceived resolutions help?

Incidentally, that was when we’re reminded of Pope Francis of the Catholic Church.

Back on 1 January 2015, an article titled “Pope Francis suggested New Year’s resolutions” appeared on the Web; posted by a Cindy Wooden, it said:

“Before Christmas in 2015, Pope Francis met with Vatican employees; they were mostly lay people with families, and he asked them to do ten things; the list sounded remarkably like suggestions for New Year’s resolutions.”

They instruct:

— “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”

— “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”

— “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”

— “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”

— “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”

— “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”

— “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”

— “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”

— “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”

— Making sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping. (This one was apparently put in by someone else, not Pope Francis.)

And then there’s the letter from the International Press Institute (I.P.I.) Bases in Vienna, Austria, it wished the Samoa Observer a “Happy and Healthy 2017”, saying:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Many of you are likely putting together your resolutions for the New Year. We have a few of our own wishes to share with you.

They are:

- to not have a single journalist in jail #FreeTurkeyJournalists.

- to keep our Death Watch, count as close to zero as possible.

- for colleagues to feel safe while doing their jobs, both offline and Ontheline.

  - for the IPI network to grow with new voices against censorship and oppression.

 - for you to become an IPI member. With your help, we can speak with an even more powerful voice in defense of the free flow of news.

  - to see all of you at the 2017 IPI World Congress in Hamburg (May 18 to 20, 2017). Let’s get together and build the journalism we need.

May your wishes for 2017 come true and may our shared vision of press freedom become a reality!

Yours,

The I.P.I. Team.

And now lastly, some very inspirational quotes to fire up that New Year spirit of yours, sky-high.

They say:

- I pray that the last month in 2016 is filled with nothing but peace, blessings and positivity; and you walk in 2017 with bigger faith, financial blessings, good health and peace of mind!

- May the year be brighter than the one gone by; enveloped in goodness, well-being, bliss and wealth.

Happy New Year!

- As we raise a toast to the New Year,

With a sparkle in our eyes, and a smile on our lips,

May the dreams we weave all come true,

and the days abound with richness & contentment.

- May The Year 2017 Bring for You

Happiness, Success and filled with Peace,

Hope & Togetherness of your Family & Friends….

Wishing You a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017.

Now that, like it or not, is the sort of positive, heart-lifting passion one needs to arm oneself when one is greeting the great unknown up ahead.

Still, it has been a fantastic year, 2016.

Sure there were snags here and there, but then they were to be expected anyway, and now that we are still here let’s hope the one ahead is just as fabulous, if not more so.

Henry David Thoreau said: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

May you have a peaceful, and violent-free New Year, Samoa, and may the love of God guide and protect us all. Soifua.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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