Everywhere you go around the city, you’ll see now of the Christmas lightings and trees and decorations. There were Christmas songs belting through the sound system from Brown Thomas but unfortunately now this may be shut because the Dublin City Council deemed it noise pollution blah di blah. I mean, c’mon, this is pretty much part of Grafton Street Christmas tradition – to walk past BT, admire their beautifully decorated windows (with overpriced items that I could never afford, but that’s not the point) and sing/hum along to the Christmas carols!
Please don’t spoil this festive cheers by being so uptight about this. I don’t know of anyone who complained about the music and as far as I know, it actually puts people in Christmassy mood. More than the weird Christmas tree on O’Connell Street that the city council was raving over.
And staying with the topic of music, watch this video by Playing for Change. I know it’s not Dublin-specific, but it emphasises music as an universal language that links people together. Including Dubliners, and you and me who live in this city.
There are a few reasons why I think it’s appropriate to post this video here today. First and foremost, it’s a beautiful song that’s produced using recordings from all over the world, harmonised together so elegantly that it resonates with everyone. Secondly, this organisation aims to promote peace through music, and this is one endeavour that I’m whole-heartedly supporting. Thirdly, I think we can all do with a good reminder that no man is an island and we have wonderful people, friends and family, that stand by us every day, every step that we take. (Quite nicely, it was Thanksgiving yesterday in the US, so what are you thankful for this year?)
We need more positive actions like this.
In the past week, we’ve seen chaos in the Middle East (so much so that it’s nearly business-for-usual that doesn’t quite raise the eyebrows anymore), military coup in Thailand and most shockingly the violent attacks in Mumbai that left over 100 people dead and a few hundred more injured. At the moment there are some progress made in containing the attacks and I hope there will not be anymore unnecessary casualties.
But it begets a few questions. Why are men still using violence in order to achieve what they want? How come, through the ages and civilisations, are there still systems and governments that don’t work that the people felt they need to speak out radically? And why are men not searching for better middle grounds to their ideologies, and at times agree to disagree, or able to disagree without being disagreeable?
Sure, there are no simple answers to these. I long for the ideal world, but hey I also often live behind a rose-tinted glasses, Pollyanna world. I’ve tried stepping out and look at things with more cynicism and skepticism, but I didn’t (and still don’t) like what I see.
Oh well, this is something best left to philosophers to debate.