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At the conclusion of an article on Commemorations Bishop Eamon Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop in Dublin writes: ‘to build our country on solid ground we have to listen respectfully especially to those who may irritate us most. Not easy! From experience we know that the longer a voice is suppressed the stronger the force and resentment that will accompany it when it eventually explodes and has to be heard.
To listen to each other and the voice within us is a good hook on which to hang the preparations for the 1916 Centenary and Ireland beyond.
To do what deep down we know is right is the ‘solid rock’ for decision making. That the right thing happens is more important than getting the credit for it. Rejoicing in other’s success is more important than getting credit for it. Rejoicing in other’s success is the way to a more mature Ireland. Often ‘name, blame and tame’ are more productive than ‘name, blame and shame’. Deep listening helps in naming the issues to be tackled together, claiming joint responsibility for tackling them and taming the obstacles on the journey.
Perfection, like a conflict free world, is a mirage for now. It is more sensible to move on together, warts and all, and with a healthy sense of humour.
Let us leave behind the ‘old Irish lobster’ The Englishman observing the Irishman carrying his freshly caught lobsters in a shallow bucket said: ‘You need a deeper bucket, otherwise they will escape! ‘No’, said the Irish fisherman – these are Irish lobsters, as soon as one gets near the top of the bucket, the others will pull it down’. Let us build the future of our country on encouraging each other to play our part, rejoicing in each other’s successes in this task, and treating the most vulnerable as any genuine family would. That is the rock on which to build for the present and beyond.