Water is a great representation of what life should be
There is some proof in the natural world that the good will transcend the evil. The weaker can overcome the stronger, just as water flows over, under and around a stone in a river, and eventually dissolves it – albeit over a long period of time. This of course will not happen as long as there is not
enough water. Not enough good or momentum to wear away the hardness of a society which could do better from leaving its hair down. Water is a great representation of what life should be and is the blood of the natural earth. It flows. People should not get tired of flowing good, they should not tire of demanding a better quality of life, they should not tire of stepping around darkness and ensnaring temptation – as these things rob people of their lives and eventually destroy them. With that said: Christmas is always a great opportunity to get away for a holiday from one’s self and to spare a though for others and wear away the hard stones. We may be selfish in the belief that any suffering is exclusive to ourselves, selfish in the belief that human causes such as social inclusion, loneliness, anxiety, servitude, are not widespread. Our lives are not natural, they are primarily economic and materialistic. The individual or self is removed and people are sucked into mass cultures which are not in their interest which propagate distraction to an extreme degree. What a great relief it is every year to give, provided those we want to give to let us. There is a problem in the area of giving, despite all the presents and gifts which are given out. There are the takers which never give and the givers who will not take. We should not give or take for gain, but to improve and build goodwill. There should be no agendas, no over or undertones, obligations, or guilt, to give or receive. Of course the greatest gift of all we can give a person is a good thought for them. A kind word, a smile, a helping hand or a compliment in times of trouble. Material things are fleeting, but real memories are only created one to one. The good will transcend the evil and we should not give up on it. The hard stone will eventually wear away – provided there is enough water (genuine goodwill) to wear it away. And should it not, then the water of good will pass by it or smother it and not be impaled on it or frustrated by its hardness or obstruction.
Shanbally, Co Cork
Desire to merge with little Englanders carries dangers for north
The latest contribution from David McNarry – ‘the north has never had it so good’ (January 8) – begins in a tone of joviality, promising, initially, to exhibit signs of a forward-thinking and a progressive approach to the ills and consequences of Brexit that are about to encroach on all citizens in the 32 counties of Ireland. However, this optimism ends after the first paragraph, the tired and repetitive rhetoric emerges and the quality of his harangue quickly descends into base criticism of others – a display of contemptuousness unsurpassed in the politics of the island. This is all the more vivid as he derides political opponents and peddles fake news with unsubstantiated assumptions, declaring the aggressiveness of Dublin and the EU is threatening to unionism. Equally he fails to take into account Brexit, voted on and promoted by a cabal of little Englanders.
And while he asserts that Britain is the ‘world’s fourth richest economy’ he ignores the deteriorating effect of the impact of austerity with suicides and homelessness on the rise and an increasing number of food banks in towns and cities, echoing calls for a minister for hunger to be appointed to assist those people both humbled and humiliated in equal measure. He declares also ‘we are wealthier with the prospects of living longer with the quality of life improving’. Perhaps this is true in the leafy suburb of Strangford but he fails to recognise, in his convoluted vision of Shangri la, there has been since 2010 an incredible 667 per cent rise in accident and emergency patients waiting for hospital beds. Included in these figures is a high percentage of the elderly.
There is a suggestion Mr McNarry and his crew of ‘Northern Irelanders’ have a habitual tendency for misrepresentation as he seeks to mislead and misinform in his ramblings. With their anti-poverty agenda the Tories are destroying the social fabric of society. Mr McNarry’s desire to merge with the little Englanders carries the danger of the north being dragged into the quagmire of utter hopelessness
A fantastic way to give something back
It’s the time of year when many of us make a long list of new year resolutions – often to take up a new sport or diet to shift a few pounds.
Many people also resolve to take up a new hobby or even to contribute to the community through volunteering. At NSPCC Northern Ireland we rely heavily on our volunteers to help children stay safe from abuse. In the last school year (2017/18) the NSPCC’s Schools Service reached more than 65,000 primary school children in more than 350 primary schools across Northern Ireland with our ‘Speak Out Stay Safe’ workshops and assemblies – helping children to speak out about any worries they may have. The Speak Out Stay Safe programme is enormously important as it gives children the language and confidence to talk about their worries, and the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe. It’s such a vital service for young people that we are determined to make sure we can bring it to as many primary schools as possible – but we can’t do it without the help of volunteers. Volunteering is a fantastic way to give something back while also learning new skills and meeting new people and The NSPCC gives you all the training and support you need for the role.
For more information email Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the NSPCC volunteering page.
NSPCC Northern Ireland
Language plays a major role in political-speak, when a choice of words can just as easily mean the opposite in an established situation of saying something in the belief the plain people could not possibly notice the difference.
For example, as citizens struggle with the reality of continuing fall-out from economic recession and see no improvement in day-to-day finances and wages, this now is called ‘recovery’.
Nothing is restored and returned to the hopeful and the poor – yet call it something else and perhaps folk will not feel little has changed.
When Windscale caused all that concern back then, a major change was to change its name to Sellafield.
If the current positive claims of Irish government information is challenged, we are simply told to be patient and that there is major economic recovery under way. There is not. The Dáil narrative is insincere.
Bantry, Co Cork
Doing the will of God
It is not all those who say Lord, Lord who shall enter the Kingdom, but those who do the will of God who will enter the Kingdom.
Things like abortion and divorce are against God’s holy will.
Ballycastle, Co Antrim