Personal Insights: We live in scary times but goodness in the world - and chocolate - must never be forgotten

Nicholas Lenane reveals how he woke in the middle of the night to a flash of inspiration to write about 'the Good news'. This essay is what resulted form that nocturnal reflection.

Personal Insights: We live in scary times but goodness in the world - and chocolate - must never be forgotten

I turned on the television today. It was all Brexit this and Brexit that, and Donald Trump this, and Donald trump that.

Europe is drowning. The fish are eating plastic and Russia is on fire.

Then the advertisements came on. One ad told me I was too thin, the next ad told me I was too fat. The next ad told me I needed to eat more coco pops. So I flicked over to Eastenders, just to make sure I was depressed. Maybe they should try Yoga? Anyway, I turned off the T.V, put the kettle on, and thought ‘Jesus, it’s not all bad’

We still have chocolate, for example. I went to the shop earlier today and you better believe it, there was still a huge amount of chocolate. Dairy Milk’s, Freddos, Bounties. I had a cup of tea and a few twixes and briefly forgot about Global warming. (I drank from a reusable cup).

And sure, the bees are dying. The temperature is rising, the ice caps are melting and governments aren't doing much about it, but we still have community.

Personal Insights: We live in scary times but goodness in the world - and chocolate - must never be forgotten

Yesterday, I crashed my car into a cow, and a complete stranger stopped to help us both (Me and the cow). He even towed me to the garage and brought the cow to the vet. Yesterday, someone held the door open for me at the supermarket. And, best of all, I still have neighbours who offer me tea and chocolate often. So, all is not lost.

We still have hugs, and stories, and laughter. We still have mountains in which we can escape and appreciate the beauty of it all. We still have stars, they don’t charge us for them yet.

As the saying goes, the best things in life are free. Well, except for chocolate. Have you seen the price of Freddos recently?! I spend 9 euro a week on chocolate, and by nine I mean 20, but I digress.

And sure inequality is rising, there are over 3,000 billionaires in the world while 3 billion people live on less than €5 a day.

The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, society hasn’t been so unequal since the good old 19th century, I can’t afford my rent and wages are stagnant.

Some famous German guy once said ‘without chocolate, life would be a mistake’. Or maybe he was talking about music. Oh, thanks Heavens for music. They can take it all, but they’ll never take our music. Music, which says more than any of my silly words could ever say.

Personal Insights: We live in scary times but goodness in the world - and chocolate - must never be forgotten

And we still have life. Together we have more power than we think. Sure, the media will try to sell us hate, and divide us against one another. And I know, a few bad eggs sometimes spoil the fun, by stealing your parking spot or starting a war.

But I have been around, and seen that most people are actually ok. Most people don’t want to bomb hospitals and the majority would probably have you in for tea and chocolate, if you asked nicely

Best of all, We still have love. Not that commercialized, hollywood love, but real love; love of self, love of life, love of all living creatures, love of love, love of chocolate. I flipping love chocolate. When I die, I hope it will be ‘death by chocolate’.

Anyway, If you are worried about it all, remember that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old (4.5 billion years old!), and this is just a moment. And what are we anyway? Talking monkeys. Talking monkeys on a little rock on the edge of the Universe. And as far as I am aware, this is the only planet on which you can find chocolate. We don't know how good we have it.

So, we live in challenging times. But the goodness of the world must not be forgotten. We still have kindness, we still have community, we still have love, we still have chocolate.

And where there is chocolate, my friends, there is hope.

Personal Insights: We live in scary times but goodness in the world - and chocolate - must never be forgotten

This submission is part of a new digital initiative on irishexaminer.com called Personal Insights.
As part of the Personal Insights initiative we are asking readers, creative writing groups and writing enthusiasts in general to share personal essays chronicling an experience which has impacted their lives and any learnings from that life experience they would like to share with a wider audience.
The essays should be sent directly to the executive editor for news and digital, Dolan O’Hagan, at dolan.ohagan@examiner.ie for consideration.
Please note all submissions should be given the subject line ‘Personal Insights submission’ to ensure they are picked up and should include any related imagery and a contact telephone number.
Only submissions which meet the Irish Examiner’s own strict journalistic, ethical and legal guidelines will be considered for publication.
The Irish Examiner reserves the right to edit submissions in line with those guidelines and before publication direct contact will be made with the person who has submitted the content.
No payment will be made for submissions and our decision as regards publication is final.
Our goal is to publish one submission per week and use all our powers to make sure it is seen by as wide an audience as possible.
We look forward to reading your stories.

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