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Kindness unites and shows how everything can be alright

Niamh Horan


It took a global lockdown to awaken our deep need for connection, but we are lifting each other's spirits, writes Niamh Horan

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Sing-song: Gerry Dempsey, who is taking the time to play his guitar and sing for his elderly neighbours, pictured with some of
those neighbours at their home in Whitecliff in Rathfarnham. Photo: Frank McGrath

Sing-song: Gerry Dempsey, who is taking the time to play his guitar and sing for his elderly neighbours, pictured with some of those neighbours at their home in Whitecliff in Rathfarnham. Photo: Frank McGrath

Sing-song: Gerry Dempsey, who is taking the time to play his guitar and sing for his elderly neighbours, pictured with some of those neighbours at their home in Whitecliff in Rathfarnham. Photo: Frank McGrath

Over the past decade, nothing has defined us more than the cult of individualism. From the little to the large, it infects every aspect of our lives. Headphones cancel out the person next to us on our commute, many neighbours barely know each other's names, and screen time has replaced connection within our shared beds and family homes.

People have virtually cocooned, choosing the easier alternative to complex human relations. And yet we all knew there was something missing. Something we couldn't quite place. So what beautiful irony that it took a worldwide lockdown to awaken our deep need for connection and community.

In recent weeks, in towns and villages across Ireland, a fairytale response is unfolding, almost too twee to believe if we had seen it in a Hollywood movie. People are coming together to lift each other's spirits, neighbours are leaving tokens of love at each other's door. This weekend's newspaper could be filled with stories if every small act of kindness was put into print.


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