Tag Archives: Belfast

Teach your children not to live in fear

So, the last few months have seen us endure some pretty horrific terrorist attacks around the world as well and 3 in 3 months in this country alone, and I hear more and more people online sharing their fears for their children’s future in such a world. I too share those fears even though I have older teens now I wonder what will become their ‘normal’ in say the next 20 years with regards to terrorism, policing and our country’s safety. What will they be bringing their future children into in many years to come?

However, I am  from Belfast, born in 1970 and lived my youngest years into my teens throughout the height of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. The absolute full extent would probably never have been covered in the national media forums unless it involved the mainland itself, but still it continued on a very daily basis in my area as well as many others. My parents back then probably had the exact same fears about our future as children with armed police and the Army patrolling our streets and wondering where it would all end up.

Yet here I am! Old enough to have my own family and worry about their future in the way my parents did before me. Coming from a very loyalist area ( being Protestant) my parents never discussed religion or politics in front of us. We were never brought up with extremist views one way or the other. They never stopped us playing outside, or going anywhere or doing anything…………………life just carried on. We were never brought up to actively ‘hate’ anyone just because a paramilitary group had decided to plant a bomb,or  kill innocent people, or shoot a single person in retaliation for another attack. We were not brought up to think that ‘tit for tat’ killings where OK. As kids we had been segregated to either Protestant or Catholic areas to live and for schooling etc. Yet I remember how excited I was when I got my first part time job in Belfast city centre working inn Argos knowing that I would be ‘mixing’ with Catholics and working in a ‘mixed’ area. I had a blast in that job. The people I met and the friends I made just made my time there brilliant fun.

What I am trying to say is that my parents never made religion and the issues surrounding it in Northern Ireland and issue for us growing up. We were not brought up to ‘hate’ a person just because they were a different religion to ourselves.

So  if you are afraid of what the future holds for your children then teach them that not everyone of that race or religion believes the same as those extremists. I never once thought that all Catholics ( back in the days of The Troubles ) were affiliated or believed the same as the IRA and I can only thank my parents for that.

Do not get me wrong, my absolute heart goes out to each and every person who has been affected by these atrocities and yes I would love to see an end to them too, it’s a total heartbreak that most of us cannot even begin to imagine or understand what they must be going through.

It is a scary world, but do not pass on your adult fears to your children before they are able to comprehend or begin to understand. Instead, teach them to see and take everyone on face value, to not be afraid when they see armed police or possibly armed forces on the streets- these people are here to protect us. I was in my mid teens on holiday in Plymouth when I saw the very first policeman in shirt sleeves with no body armour, unarmed and on his own!! Until then armed police and Army on the streets was my normal- and yet here I am a normal person. I haven’t suffered any detrimental affects, all grown up with my own family.

Our world is always going to be scary with everything that is going on across the globe, but for your children’s sake concentrate on the everyday normality and the good. I have seen a great quote online telling us to ‘look for the helpers’ in those awful situations and it’s true. There will always be many more people willing to help than to harm. Never let those people affected be forgotten but celebrate those who go to selfless measures to help in the most awful situations regardless of the danger they put themselves in.

In short, I am proof along with many others, if you teach your children to live without adult fears and teach them not to hate a race of people or a religion because of the actions of a minority of extremists then your children will adapt and live normal lives too. It’s possible, we as adults have to make it possible.

 

Will you live until your 90?

Would you actually want to live until you are 90?

I recently had a family visit to Belfast for my nan’s 90th birthday. It was a great trip as I went with my youngest from London, my mum flew in from Exeter and my brother and his youngest flew in from New York. So it was great to all get together for a long weekend.

The hotel was amazing ( and that’s all thanks to my mum for booking…….and paying!), with a swimming pool, a great bar restaurant, plush rooms with king size beds and amazing breakfasts. Need I say more?

Anyway the whole reason for going was to have a get together to celebrate her 90th birthday.

Here she is with me and my youngest on the day we arrived when we popped up to see her. I think she looks amazing for 90 years old, don’t you?

But that got me thinking………………………how many people would actually want to live to that ripe old age?

I’m not sure I actually would. I’m 42 now *cough* and therefore that would mean another 48 years to go. If I was fit and healthy then I would probably accept the deterioration in mobility and possibly memory and feel darn lucky to get to that age.

However, after 4 years with M.E which sees overwhelming fatigue and chronic muscular pain that is part of my everyday living (along with headaches, IBS, nausea, photo and phono sensitiveness…………………………..and that’s a good day LOL ) I’m not sure I would want to get to that grand age.

No, correct that, I KNOW I wouldn’t want to live another 48 years with all those symptoms as a daily occurrence. The last 4 years have been relentless enough without contemplating another 48!!

I must admit though it was a great excuse to all go over there, see family, visit a few sights, eat lots of food and drink and live in a bit of luxury for a while.

So, what about you?