Thursday 23 March 2017

Mary Kenny: Hope should spring eternal

Gloom and doom are bad for our brains - think optimistically!

Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

There were ructions all through last week after the Brexit referendum vote: I'm not talking about the politics but flaming rows between families, friends, colleagues. Last year, after the same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland, some anecdotal stories emerged about older people being put under pressure by their adult offspring to vote "yes". In the UK, it was something similar. One friend of mine was distressed when her son told her she had sabotaged his career and the prospects for her grandchildren (by voting Brexit) and he was never speaking to her again.

Although I'm a neutral party in all this, I too got a blast of emails from friends and relations telling me I hadn't sufficiently helped the EU's cause. A young London niece and nephew had some bitter words to say about horrible old people. My cousin in Paris was furious about the outcome. Woe and despair prevailed. Ochón agus ochón…

And then I had an epiphany: always look on the bright side of life. I was overwhelmed by a conviction that in reacting to any life event, personal, collective or political, we need to muster the forces of optimism, and see an opportunity.

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