Our young people are amazing.

Mary and I had our second visit to Our Lady’s School, Terenure yesterday and the atmosphere in the place was electric. We arrived at lunch time and the place was buzzing. They were selling, planning, organizing, praying, singing and full of positive creation. It was exhilarating to be there.
When I was a teacher I would feel that controlling such energy was a problem. Now, that, I’m no longer a teacher, I feel that with direction this force could move mountains.
Direction it has, in Our Lady’s, if their efforts on behalf of Wells for Zoe are anything to go by.
I feel maybe we often fail our children because of our lack of enthusiasm for their wild imaginings. Failing to give directed encouragement. Failing to give good example. Failing to see how amazingly creative they can be. We should allow them to try and fail more often.
Teenagers see issues so clearly. They go straight to the heart of the matter. They tend to see solutions rather than difficulties. They are often told they are naive, simplistic or stupid, but “what if they’re right”.
Many African solutions can be found by ordinary people “going for it”
Childish solutions to global problems may be as good as what we have. Why think of a problem until you find one?
In Ireland, at the moment, we are so obsessed with the latest and best of everything: A 20% increase in spending this Christmas!. It must be hard for children to imagine that the people in M’Bama village may have a little chicken if they’re lucky, with their nsima for Christmas Day but the following day they will be back to Nsima and some beans. There will be no Santa, no presents and still they will be happy if they’re not hungry. The efforts of Our Lady’s will help to improve their situation.
In speaking to the 3rd and 4th year groups we found we had a most attentive and analytical audience, who were prepared and sympathetic. They realized that we weren’t stressing calamity, but hope and that we were offering a solution rather than a problem.
We are the better for meeting them. They reflect well the values of their school and homes.
May you all in Our Lady’s all have a joyous Christmas and enjoy the fruits of the many prayerful thoughts coming from Malawi in the New Year.
Your efforts will make a serious difference to the lives of hundreds of women and children, particularly, 8000km away.
I will talk about the efforts of B5 later. Thanks girls.


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