May 3, 2019 by johnston00
‘What kind of lreland do you want to live in? ‘
by Lucy Scholze
Ireland is the beautiful country which I call my homeland. It is the home of culture and connectedness, of ambition and competition. It is where legends are born and leaders are raised, where ideas are found and dreams are made. Ireland, my homeland, is a lovely place. But it is far from perfect.
I want to live in an Ireland where different cultures can exist under the same sky, without each of them claiming superiority over all else. Different cultures are beautiful, each in their own way. An ideal future holds hundreds of different traditions, co-existing like branches of a common tree – Ireland the fruitful tree of harmonious community. It breaks my heart to witness the derogation of foreign lifestyles simply through ignorance. It breaks my faith in humanity to see that injustice being pushed one very unnecessary step further. through the harsh use of pejoratives and physical violence. All walks of life, religions, traditions, careers, past-times, etcetera should be accepted in the kindest of manners, as long as they think the same of us, and as long as they deal no harm towards others. Is it too much to ask?
Competition is one of the things which drive our country; a vital bone in our skeletal system. Ireland has procured many raging athletes; bold speakers; witty academics. People with all kinds of interests engage in competition – often harmless, but dangerous more often than should be accepted. I yearn for an Ireland which finds joy in friendly banter; which seeks to remain at peace with fellow competitors. Sometimes we can get carried away with our desire to come out on top, and forgo suitable etiquette to achieve said desire. Making peers feel less valued, while establishing toxic egoism, is a despicable act in the face of a chance to better oneself as a person. Competition is healthy when just. Life is not about the result. but rather about the journey. I wish all of Ireland would adopt that philosophy, and hold it close to heart.
As aforementioned, Ireland houses many leaders and legends. From politicians to speakers, many people have an honourary place on our national wall of fame. And that is admirable. When one works hard for something all their life to finally get their name engraved on a trophy, that is admirable. When one finds the courage within themselves to appear as a
spokesperson in front of millions, that is admirable. What I want now is the appreciation and respect towards those who choose not to do such things.
Not everyone wants to be in the spotlight. Not everyone chooses glory. We are told in school to ‘aim high’. in such a hopeful tone of voice that we are led to believe ‘aiming low’ is disgraceful. Yes, this country will always want
professional lawyers, doctors, and teachers. But what about the people who do not see any of those paths as a potential future? I want to live in an Ireland where it is not shameful to be a secretary – some people just like organising and put that strength to good use. I want to live in an Ireland where janitors are respected for doing what no-one else will do. They are putting their strengths to good use. I want respect for the secretaries and janitors, the librarians and cashiers, the gardeners and builders. the extras and the stunt doubles. It is not shameful to put your strengths to good use. If everyone in Ireland was a doctor, who would be left to sit in the office
and plan their appointments?
To hope and to dream of great things is to recognise what can be achieved in this world. Often, our wishful dreaming is negated to be replaced by the ‘real world’. Ireland would be a wonderful land were everyone encouraged to hope. Negative attitudes towards the future are slowly gaining credibility. It is enforcing hopelessness more than anything. Allowing younger generations to forget the joys in life, in favour of being made to work until they drop, is the ultimate failure. The Emerald Isle offers so many opportunities for making the most of life. Rejecting those opportunities is a crime. To dream is one of the most enlightening things one can do. To forbid the younger generations from doing so achieves the opposite.
Ireland, my homeland, is a lovely place, far from perfection but not from greatness. None of us need an exemption from hardships and sorrow. Perfect is boring. All I ask is that we take into consideration everything that could make this country more sustainable; welcoming; tolerant. That is the kind of Ireland I want to live in. There is so much we can do ourselves to
improve our situation for the better of every single person who lives on our small, but vibrant island.
Intolerance can be unlearned. Dangerous ambition can be dampened. All humans can live and work together in harmony.
Dreams can be dreamed without interruption. So why not start now?
Many Congratulation to Lucy Scholze, winner of the Senior Cycle Essay Competition for 2019. Lucy is currently a Transition Year student at Presentation College, Tuam, Co Galway