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Emerald Isle Inspiration

By June 23, 2024No Comments

 

 

Emerald Isle Inspiration

 

When I came to Ireland well over four decades ago, what I liked the most was the Irish friendliness.

I had lived in communist Czechoslovakia, Holland, and Germany, and I had never experienced anything like what I encountered when I arrived in Ireland. The Irish friendliness was something I was not used to before.

Everybody said ‘Hello‘How is it going to one another, people talked more, they were more interested in one another. They were great storytellers, and sharing stories with strangers was not unusual, even in the capital city, Dublin. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, I loved it.

My early days in Ireland were filled with moments that felt almost magical. People I didn’t know would strike up conversations at the bus stop, neighbours would invite me over for tea, and there was a general sense of community that wrapped around me like a warm blanket.

It was as if the country welcomed me with open arms, offering me a place not just to live but to belong. Escaping from communist country and leaving my home without any hope to come back, that was so needed. I was so hungry for a feeling to belong to somewhere.

Recently one of my biggest dreams fulfilled and I became a grandmother of a beautiful little girl. These days I think a lot about the changes in this country, more than ever.

Yes, it has changed, many things for the better, but some wonderful aspects are disappearing too.

One of them is the human connection, the Irish friendliness. This realization made me very sad for a while.

Then, I understood that complaining would not bring it back. Complaining would only make me a frustrated old woman. I remember the joy of small interactions. A simple ‘Hello’ could spark a conversation that led to lifelong friendships.

Nowadays, it feels like people are more isolated, buried in their phones or rushing through their days without a moment to spare for others.

We talk so much about addiction, but every addiction stems from a lack of connection, connection with ourselves, connection with people around us, the human connection we all need more than ever these days.

People seek solace in substances, in screens, in anything that can fill the void left by the absence of genuine human interactions.

What gives me a lot of hope is thinking about my grandchild’s generation.

What can we give them?

What legacy will we leave them?

Let’s bring back the Irish friendliness, the best gift we can give to one another and the best legacy we can leave for the next generation: friendliness and human connection.

William Shakespeare once said, “Eyes are the window to the soul.” These days, our souls are very hungry, so let’s open our windows and start to look and acknowledge one another. A simple friendly look can make a difference. The ‘Hello’ can come later.

So, I started small.

These days, every day I began by greeting my neighbours with a warm smile, engaging in conversations with the shopkeepers, and making a point to know the names of the people I see regularly. Slowly, I am noticing a change. Faces that once seemed preoccupied and distant began to light up. People started to reciprocate my greetings, and some even stopped for a chat.

This small shift gives me hope. It shows me that the Irish friendliness I fell in love with is not lost; it’s just buried beneath the surface, waiting to be rekindled.

So, let’s all take a step towards reconnecting with each other. Let’s greet our neighbours, share a smile, and take a moment to truly see one another. After all, it’s these small acts of kindness and acknowledgment that weave the fabric of a strong, united community.

Let’s leave a legacy of love, friendliness, and human connection for the generations to come.

Hopefully one day I will walk with my granddaughter by my side the streets of Dublin and she will be able to experience the sense of community and connection that once defined this beautiful country.

Céad Míle is the Irish gold,  this is the Emeral Isle’s treasure…

 

Mx