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Looking ahead for 2024 there are priorities around personal and mental wellbeing, and social security.

There are bigger goals for us all around tackling environmental degradation and economic inequalities. Looming large is AI where accumulated intelligence determines who we are rather than the other way round, and self-driving cars.

Personally, within the bigger issues, I want to ensure I make more time for what matters to me, including making time to be with my family, more time for pray, more time to write.

I recognise that this is all within my reach.

I have to get better at saying “no” to time consuming distractions.

I know that the best way to achieve this is by prioritising what I value most.

Not long ago, I was speaking in a school assembly, with a diverse range of eleven year olds.

I was talking about sanctuary: building cultures of welcome and hospitality, to keep everyone safe from harm.

I asked the children what would make them feel safe.

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Every child had a brilliant answer

One boy from Sudan, said he wants to build a world without war. In his words, this requires the world to “stop the killing”.

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In similar conversations, with people who have fled war seeking sanctuary, their greatest hope for 2024 is a peaceful world.

Globally, I am aware there are elections coming up in the UK, and in other countries, including, USA, India, Russia, and Mexico.

Political campaigns promise much

All voters have personal expectations from government

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I find myself turning to three key values that are reflected in him, namely: Justice, Mercy and Humility in all life, leadership and relationships.

Justice, which requires listening to all sides in order to achieve clarity for pathways ahead;

Mercy, Which is about achieving justice not out of pity but empathy especially with who is hurting the most;

And Humility, which acknowledges that we need each other, none of us can go it alone in building justice and mercy.

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So, looking ahead for 2024, these are the matters I will find myself upholding in all my relationships, reflections and prayers.

Inderjit Bhogal, 2 January 2024



Pause For Thought is featured on BBC Radio 2. It is hosted on the OJ Borg programme at 2.30am (GMT). Inderjit contributes regular short reflections on various topics, often related to spirituality, philosophy and personal experiences. Inderjit provides a moment of reflection and contemplation offering you a brief pause. Here, Inderjit shares his insights and wisdom, to inspire you, encourage you, or provide a moment of reflection before you start the day.

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