Sent to me by a friend. Couldn’t have put it better myself…
“In Northern Ireland we grow up bathed in sectarianism.
It washes over us, covers us, and is all around us, and often we don’t realise the effect it has on our personal point of view.…
I would like to ask you, (and indeed myself) are there elements of sectarianism in the way that I speak or behave.
I’m sure that you would be horrified if anyone tried to label you sectarian. Yet I wonder if sometimes we are being sectarian without even realising.
In Northern Ireland we tend to like to say NO!!
NO – to being called Irish
NO – to being called British
NO – to a United Ireland
NO – to a United Kingdom
NO – to Flags
NO – to the Irish Language
No to absolutely anything that is different from what we have brought up to believe is the “right way”.
Sectarianism is making sure ‘the other side’ will never get what they want – even if that thing has no bearing on your personal day to day life.
Here in Northern Ireland, of those that actually vote, the majority tend to vote for extreme political parties in order make sure that ‘the other side’ will never receive anything of what they truly want.
There are some perfectly legitimate reasons, and some perfectly legitimate fears in the minds of those who vote in this way – but there is also a sectarian element, and very often people don’t even realise they are being sectarian.
If we, as a province, continue to vote in this way then we will be left with exactly what we have right now – two extreme political parties that will never fully agree on anything and our children growing up in a land still stuck in the mire of sectarianism.
How about we make a change?
How about, if you don’t vote, deciding that from now on you will vote.
How about, voting for a party that has more moderate views.
How about, we stop saying NO and start saying “Let’s try to work it out together”