28 Jan 2022

Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: We need to think in the politics of today & make our own history

Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

There’s a time for being stubborn; a time for stating the obvious; even a time for defending territory that others have seized in the bygone days, and still cling onto.

Maybe even a time for gloating over every ‘victory’.

That time is over.

None of this means we forget the past, or those who fought and gave their lives for our peace, finally achieved in Northern Ireland, for example. We live in a different world.

Therefore, it’s more important, and more relevant in this day and age, to seize every opportunity for peace, and its continuance.

Peace has in itself a calming effect on the everyday lives of others, and therefore is much more important than being entwined by history, or harping on about all that Ireland suffered. Yes, it suffered indeed, but we won’t gain any more from harping on about it. That will only serve to remind us all, when we need to try consciously, to forget.


Stop critiquing the DUP, for example. It really doesn’t help.

Let them find their own solution, they will soon, probably.

Stop complaining about being badly treated.

The past is another country.

We need to take the big step and forget about the past times, past history, past habits.

History is meant to be a record of the past, not a template for how we preserve and perpetuate its future.

History must be allowed change.

We watch TV and see how the British Parliament is convulsed by historical references.

None mean very much, really, at the end of the day.

Because like all history, it depends who you are listening to.

Neither are we prophets. There is no certainty in life.

If we all live our best ability, try our best, yet we still die eventually.

That’s a certainty we can all make, probably the only one.

Beyond that, nothing really matters.

But once you focus on, and accept that fact, you realise that maybe we’d be better off thinking about how the world could be a better place if everyone wasn’t so consumed by their own opinions. It’s not a healthy way to live, or behave.

Thus far, it seems it’s the only way we know, but guess what? It hasn’t worked.

We need to make our own history. By tomorrow that will be the record of ‘today’ itself; that’s the great thing about history. It is merely a record of past times.

Ever altering, an ever moving graph, ever shifting it’s emphasis but recording the outcomes as they happen.

Outcomes that we can, possibly, control, influence, or at least make somewhat better, if we really try to act carefully.

We now need to create our own history, with a nod to the past but a firm eye to the future.

To do that with any success, we must stop apportioning blame upon anyone for the past. That’s a rather tall order.

But it is necessary, and someone has to start the process.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to put into practice.

But by trying to act differently, it is inevitable that some effect will wash over others.

We need to think in the politics of today, and focus on what is really needed, rather than having our minds consumed by past mistakes, some indeed terrible - on all sides - but we must divest ourselves of all those happenings.

This, is an idealistic way to behave. But we must try.

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