Monday 18 November 2019

The price of life

One of the most insidious and corrosive beliefs that has taken hold is that everything has its price and everything can be bought.

In the past week, we have seen three young men brutally murdered in the vicinity of children.



Gardai are quite certain that the killers are taking advantage of the presence of the children, as they are being collected from their schools, to murder the parent -- who will inevitably try to shield and protect the child.



I know these men lived on the edge in a dark underworld where life has little value. Now it appears to have no value at all. They were human beings, after all.



The children who witnessed the demolition of one of the pillars of their world will find their lives broken.



In the past there was an understanding even among the most hardened of criminals that you held fire where children were present.



Now their presence appears to be a 'bonus'.



Their future was not included in the price of the 'hit.



We are currently as a society paying a crippling bill for overvaluing property and are now carrying a massive millstone that is crushing us. We kick ourselves for our stupidity.



Yet why is there no lamentation or outcry about how cheap life has become?



It has been wisely said that not everything can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.



We have overvalued things and undervalued the most precious gifts we have -- life and our children.



There cannot always be a garda present, but if people carried in their hearts the remotest glimmer of the hugely rich, irreplaceable value of life there would not need to be.



Ed Joyce



Co Kilkenny

Irish Independent

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