Summary: At this time of the year there is a chance to reconnect with 'goodwill' Description: In the UK Christmas fever is upon us and although most of the Christian population are fairly laid back in their approach to church going at this time of the year there is resurgence of interest. Of course now there is also a huge retail interest in the 25th December but still hundreds of Christmas cards will be sent both through the post and via the internet declaring ‘Peace on earth good will to men’ or as one of my daughters wrote when aged 7 ‘Peas on earth……’

But has good will faded these days? Every morning whilst getting ready for work I listen to the news on the radio. Invariably it is depressing. Aside from the obvious horrors of war and the awful human misery associated with natural disasters the producers of news programme seem determined to bring doom and gloom into every item but more importantly also to imply that someone or some organisation has failed in their work or need to do better. With instant messaging this has become worse. People are now able to pass critical or even damming judgments on others at the press of a button without an apparent thought for the effects of these ‘mean tweets’ on their subjects lives. Anyone who has children or who has worked closely with young learners will understand the awesome power that feedback can have on an individual – able to motivate or crush someone in a couple of sentences. Dylan Thomas understood this when he wrote ‘Great is the hand that holds dominion over man by a scribbled name’ which for my generation is the same as tweeting!

Let me suggest that we try to at least begin 2014 by being more positive about life and in particular our fellow man and if we are not able to dispense general largesse then at least try and spread positive encouragement to others. Not being an optimist by nature this will be a challenge for me but regardless of whether we can ever achieve peas or even peace on earth lets try to reinvigorate good will to (wo)men.