Let’s not for­get the vul­ner­a­ble and the weak af­ter all the fes­tiv­i­ties are over

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

EVEN the most c yn­i­cal among us will surely agree that t he s e ns e o f c ha r i t y a nd g e ne r o s i t y t ha t s u r r o u nds Christmas is some­thing to be wel­comed and en­cour­aged. Cer­tainly the seem­ingly end­less queues and the non stop au­dio bar­rage of Christmas tunes can be ir­ri­tat­ing but there is much to en­joy dur­ing the fes­tive season.

Ar­guably, the nicest as­pect of Christmas is the way in which it brings com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple to­gether to help the most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety.

Mil­lions of Euro is raised every year to help the poor and needy; peo­ple take the time to look in on el­derly neigh­bours and, in gen­eral, there is a tremen­dous will­ing­ness to help oth­ers. If only it were like that all year round.

Peo­ple are, of course, gen­er­ally de­cent and through­out the year many will go out of their way to look af­ter those who are in dif­fi­culty and who need a help­ing hand.

Un­for­tu­nately, there are just as many for whom charity is typ­i­cally an an­nual af­fair and who tend not be as gen­er­ous in July as they are in De­cem­ber.

It would be great to see that change and while we pat our­selves on the back for help­ing good causes at Christmas we should re­mem­ber the vul­ner­a­ble all year round.

A cold night in the sum­mer can be just as hellish an ex­pe­ri­ence for some­one sleep­ing on the streets.

That el­derly neigh­bour whose fam­ily never call will be just as lonely on the 25 th of Au­gust as they are on Christmas Day.

The scores of home­less fam­i­lies whose dis­mal plight is hid­den be­hind ho­tel doors will need houses as des­per­ately next June as they do this week.

The Gov­ern­ment and big busi­ness tend to use Christmas to cast them­selves in a car­ing light and wash off any un­pleas­ant tar­nish their rep­u­ta­tions picked up dur­ing the year.

The Gov­ern­ment that has failed to get any mean­ing­ful grasp on the hous­ing cri­sis will sud­denly find a few free houses that can be pre­sented, on cam­era of course, to some de­spair­ing fam­i­lies.

Spare beds will sud­denly ma­te­ri­alise on hos­pi­tal wards only to dis­ap­pear in the new year while cash strapped de­part­ments will find enough spare change down the back of the min­is­ter’s couch to fund a few, cam­era friendly, charity do­na­tions.

Mean­while, the re­tail gi­ants who pay their zero-hour con­tract work­ers pit­tance will spend mil­lions on glossy cam­paigns that mask their naked avarice in a schmaltzy sen­ti­men­tal­ity.

Such brazen cyn­i­cism would usu­ally be quickly shot down – par­tic­u­larly in our so­cial me­dia ob­sessed era of con­stant out­rage – but some­how at Christmas com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ments are able to get away with it.

In the next few days many of us will be mak­ing New Year res­o­lu­tions for 2019.

Any­one seek­ing inspiration might con­sider this sug­ges­tion. In 2019 we should all re­solve to do all we can for the needy all year round; to en­sure the weak are never for­got­ten and to make sure those re­spon­si­ble for the plight of the vul­ner­a­ble are al­ways held to ac­count.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.