February 26, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

S.M.a.r.t Column: Peace on Earth

We are all, by now, saturated with jingles, holiday cards, “ho ho ho’s,” countless commercial advertisements, and exhortations to feel the holiday spirit. But with the world the way it is today,  this is easier said than done. From the blood-soaked plains of Ukraine to the Hamas attack and the gutting of Gaza, and from the pitiful promises of COP 28 to the relentless flooding of Florida, it’s hard to be jolly or merry. 

Closer to home, during our intractable homeless crisis with no room at the inn, Sacramento mandates 9,000 new units here but fails to provide sufficient funds for the 6,000 affordable units that are supposed to magically appear in the next eight years. Our City is hardly having a Hallmark moment with libraries shuttered, hotels struggling, and the 3rd Street Promenade suffering. Meanwhile, the sea keeps rising next to our beachside City.

But we are not the first people to arrive at a winter solstice facing real and existential threats. Humans facing death, plagues, famines, and war have always turned to their respective gods and goddesses for help. Each religion has some version of that unexamined phrase that often appears on the holiday cards that flood your real or virtual mailboxes: “Peace on Earth.” 

This is a benign, hopeful blessing that all can aspire to regardless of religion and, therefore, probably offends no one. If we look for a moment just at the Judeo-Christian traditions, these three simple words are actually a significant contraction of a biblical phrase (Luke 2:14), which in turn has a slightly different meaning depending on which bible you choose. 

For example:

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

New King James Version 1982

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to all those on whom his favor rests.”

New Catholic Bible 2019

“In the highest heaven, glory to God! And on earth, peace among people of good will!”

Complete Jewish Bible 1998

As you can see, “Peace on Earth” comes in many different slants, genders, and nuances in just one religious text. One phrase that can have significantly different meanings. 

Because everyone’s religion is different, SMa.r.t. encourages you to take some time, during the drumbeat of the Holidays, to reflect, for a brief moment, on what Peace on Earth means to you.  How would you phrase it? In this season of renewal, place your Peace on Earth in your heart and find ways to manifest it in 2024. That vision is our holiday gift to you. 

By Mario Fonda-Bonardi for SM a.r.t Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow
Thane Roberts, Architect, Robert H. Taylor AIA, Architect, Dan Jansenson, Architect & Building and Fire-Life Safety Commission, Samuel Tolkin Architect & Planning Commissioner, Mario Fonda-Bonardi AIA Michael Jolly, AIR-CRE.

For previous articles, see www.santamonicaarch.wordpress.com/writing

Clarification: 2 weeks ago, the SMa.r.t. article said there are only 12 two-bedroom units in the  Gelson’s Project, whereas there are only 12 affordable units in the Gelson’s Project

in Opinion
Related Posts

S.M.a.r.t Column: Gelson’s Looms Large

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Our guest column this week is by SMCLC (the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City). SMCLC is a well-established...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Top Toady Town

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

Throughout history, from the ancient Romans and Assyrians to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, siege warfare has served as an...

S.M.a.r.t Column: The Sunset of Home Ownership

February 11, 2024

February 11, 2024

We are watching the sunset of our historical and cultural American dream of home ownership as we now are crossing...

SMa.r.t. Column: B(U)Y RIGHT

February 4, 2024

February 4, 2024

“By Right” state housing laws that give developers, in certain projects, the ability to ignore codes ‘by right.’ Well, that...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Serf City

January 28, 2024

January 28, 2024

Homelessness is a problem in California, and nowhere is this more evident than in our fair city, where the unhoused...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Bond Fatigue

January 22, 2024

January 22, 2024

Last week’s SMart article,  described two critical problems faced by our Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD): the declining...

S.M.a.r.t Column: On the Clock with Mayor Brock

December 17, 2023

December 17, 2023

I became Santa Monica’s Mayor on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, following a simple “switch of the chairs” transition with outgoing...

S.M.a.r.t Column: SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL 2024

December 10, 2023

December 10, 2023

Position:Seeking Santa Monica City Council Candidate(s) Introduction:Exciting opportunity for the right candidate(s) to work with like-minded Council members committed to...

S.M.a.r.t Column: ARB (NOT Ready to Build!)

December 3, 2023

December 3, 2023

Santa Monica City’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), established in 1974, acts “…to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance...

SMa.r.t. Column: We are thankful for….

November 27, 2023

November 27, 2023

SMa.r.t. would like to wish you all a great Thanksgiving with friends and family and also to thank its readers...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Make the City New Again

November 19, 2023

November 19, 2023

When the COVID crisis struck, it cut the city’s income in half, demolishing many businesses and causing widespread layoffs and...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Four Futures

October 29, 2023

October 29, 2023

As well described by Paul Krugman, all cities have a core competency: things they do well or better regionally or...

SMa.r.t column: Beautiful Quartz Countertops Are Hurting Workers and Should Be Banned

October 9, 2023

October 9, 2023

Quartz countertops are super popular because they’re tough and can handle stains, scratches, and heat. But there’s a big problem:...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Architect’s Son Reflects On Civic Auditorium

October 2, 2023

October 2, 2023

Welton (David) Becket (1902-1969), pictured above, backed by a picture of our Civic Auditorium, was the designer of that famed...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Civic Center Debate

September 24, 2023

September 24, 2023

Civic Center Debate Last year, the City declared the Civic Center Auditorium surplus property after a decade of neglect and...