By Jenny Kerr
The 24th of April 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising in Ireland; the day when our country finally broke away from Great Britain and became a Republic.
Was it really worth it? I suppose in terms of the laws that Ireland were governed under during that time then yes, it was well worth it. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel, in terms of all the lives that were lost during the Rising that it wasn’t worth it.
Maybe it’s the recent bombings in Paris and Brussels that has inspired me to write this article, but it seems to me that war’s which start between two groups of people, be they for religious reasons or otherwise, never seem to end well for those involved or even those caught in the middle including innocent civilians. Someone always gets hurt, it may not always be in a physical sense but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less.
What comes to mind is that old rhyme “Stick and stones may break my bones but words can also hurt me.” These words have remained with me since I first heard them during my secondary school days.
Having been brought into this world with a disability I have had plenty of experience when it comes to fighting for what I deserve in life. In saying that, no matter how hard I try, I will never understand the lengths some people go to to fight for what they believe in or feel that they deserve in life; even if that means they could be risking their own lives or the lives of those around them by doing so. This is why I feel that wars are not worth the risk and it is not what being human is all about.
To me, being human should be about learning to accept others for who they are and the way they choose to live. It also should be about helping those in need and standing up for what is right without having to resort to violence or disobeying the law – after all “violence never solved anything”.
In her song From A Distance Bette Midler sings:
“From a distance we all have enough
and no one is in need.
And there are no bombs, no guns, and no disease,
no hungry mouths to feed.”
This sums up the kind of world I wish we were living in but, unfortunately, that kind of world, for now at least, seems to be just a fantasy.
At this present moment in Ireland we are without a government as they continue to decide on who they would like to see as the next Taoiseach. If I were to be elected, I would make sure that all the people living in Ireland were treated the way they deserved to be, including those who have a disability.
I would make war illegal. Instead I would try to find a solution or compromise to any problem so that no one suffers in the way that the innocent victims of the wars in Brussels and Paris have suffered.
However I am not in government, and may never be, but I hope that those who are feel the same as I do and would like to see a better future for the people of Ireland, one that doesn’t involve the fear the people of Paris and Brussels are living through at the moment.