Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: 'For 2018, try to think of those less fortunate than yourself'

Mattie Fox


Mattie Fox



Mattie Fox

“We must take time, please, to look out for our elders, who have sacrificed and given us such a good country to live in”.

Christmas Day has come and gone, and thoughts turn to the change in our world. In Ireland, we’ve experienced change like no other country in the western world, in the past ten to fifteen years.

Largely gone, are the appealing habits and charming practices of years past.

No more do we have visitors calling for a ‘ceili’, without an appointment.
For old people this is a change that’s happened gradually, but makes the effort of living longer, more challenging. People can feel remote.

At times like this, it’s hugely important to remember the senior members of our community. They’re the ones who’ve worked all their lives, with more hardship than is nowadays the case, and for them, simple things can be a highlight.

When people get older they don’t need the fast moving car or the crazily paced habits, and the constant rush as now current.

Older people enjoy being able to indulge a leisurely way of living.
People are living longer, and older people are well equipped to survive healthily for a long time.
It’s terrific to see the seniors being looked after, with senior citizens clubs flourishing in most parishes, in one form or another.

People who have retired enjoy nothing more than spending time with their companions, and having a laugh, listening to music, playing cards, or having a cup of tea or coffee.

There’s a great spirit amongst the community generally, once harnessed, and a great sense of goodwill exists in rural areas when someone starts a movement to gather a senior citizens club together.

This feeling of goodwill has coincided with more money, better housing, better food, better clothes, better education, more travelling, holidays taken most years - by most people, more leisure activity, with efficient heating and TV in every home.

Gone are the days of cold houses, leaky roofs, bad windows, even the quality of our front gates and entrances have improved greatly.
Gardens are tidy places nowadays, no longer unkempt, unfinished, untidy areas with just an odd bit of grass here and there.

It’s very encouraging to see that all this good that has happened, in most cases through the work and prudence of those who are now in their twilight years, is being rewarded in some measure by those whose lives are currently more fortunate than was the case years ago.

It is heartwarming to see so many people in our church at Christmas returning to spend the season with their parents.

We have every gadget known to man, at our beck and call. Computers, phones, iPads, iPhones, all packed with apps for this, apps for that, and apps for the other, too.

Social media is in its fourth phase of development, and is in many areas becoming less attractive than at first seemed to be the case.

But we must take time, please, to look out for our elders, who have sacrificed and given us such a good country to live in.
There are so many distractions, that it’s easy to forget that there are others who need love and attention too.

It’s a recorded fact, that people are beginning to realise that it’s not all healthy to be glued to the screen every minute and hour of every day.
If we could see ourselves, in reality it’s scary.

Screen zombies can be found on every train, bus, and in every shopping centre that you visit. Online shopping is the new craze, and more couriers are perpetuating the landscape every week. In most villages there’s a default point for dropping off parcels, usually a shop.

In the same shop, every day, you’ll find someone rushing in, enquiring if any parcels have arrived yet.

Amidst all the new found activity, which is great to see, try to remember the lonely people in our midst. Especially those who live alone.

For 2018, try to think of those less fortunate than yourself, and maybe give them half an hour to call and say hello. You’ll find it rewarding.
The most valuable commodity is time.

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