After a week we'll all remember for many years to come, it seemed like everyone was celebrating the Biden-Harris Victory. However, that simply wasn’t the case, because as in all elections, for a big group of people the result is not a victory, it is a huge loss.
It’s sad to think that nations can feel so divided during those political processes. It makes you think about your own nation, doesn’t it?
Considering the question: Are we united?
Well, I can hardly agree with myself on a day to day basis, so of course, we'll never get 4.9 million people perfectly aligned.
But! Overall, I truly feel WE ARE UNITED.
A great pride feels in how we have come together against an invisible enemy.
How, for some nations, being apart, being nuclear, may be relatively normal. Perhaps the sacrifice they make in not being social isn't so bad.
Whereas, there's no greater sacrifice than to ask an Irish person to turn against their genetically embedded instinct to be friendly.
To offer someone the seat next to you on public transport. To come together and have a laugh over a cup of tea, in the happiest and the saddest moments of our lives. The instinct to call over to someone because you know they've been having a tough time lately.
The media may have to highlight all that we are doing wrong, but my God, there is so much we're doing right.
And not just now, in the face of a PANDEMIC.
This Republic has been ours for less than 100 years. It won’t be until 2037 that we'll celebrate the Centenary of our Independent Republic.
In that time of Independence, a mere breath of history, we have come together to ban smoking indoors (the first in Europe were we not?), to legalise same-sex marriage, to give women the right to autonomy over their bodies and so much more.
So, although it may bother us that the world stereotypes Ireland as an island of party makers who just drink and have fun, I think we need to remind ourselves of two things today:
- Clearly, we are so much more than that, but guess what? We don't feel the need to prove it to anyone else.
- There are far worse stereotypes to be than 'people who are always up for the craic' and have a mantra of 'sure it'll be grand' because you can't have the craic alone (there's our sense of unity) and in the face of a pandemic, the best mindset to have might just be 'a sure it'll be grand' ….because, sure look it, isn't that it?