Hey Jude, let’s start to make it better, be nicer.
In his letter of good advice to US president Donald Trump urging him to bring sensible gun control laws into force in the USA, Howard Hutchins (Irish Examiner, July 7) uses the troubling words: “Sadly, our modern-day world has far too many troubled (and intent on evil) people.”
But such troubling words, if they must be used to warn of danger, ought to be counterbalanced with some use of positive words for the sake of context. This is because the quality of our lives is affected by the quality of our words, since as the bible states in Matthew 12:37:
But if the only messages one sees on entering certain hospitals are a small sign ordering you to “decontaminate” or a larger sign saying don’t interfere with the staff, then such messages on their very own could send negative signals to the subconscious mind of certain vulnerable individuals.
Thus, without the hospital authorities fully knowing what they are doing, these public warning messages could quietly tell a person who already feels marginalised that, for the sake of the important work of a hospital and also of the wider Irish society, he or she would have better off had they never been born.
Such warning signs left just on their very own could, as Paul McCartney sang in ‘Hey Jude’, “make his [or her] world a little colder”.
If we had a sufficient quota of welcoming signs in every building in Ireland we might thus once again live up to our old reputation of having 100,000 welcomes for everyone. Then a lot more Irish people might smile a lot more every day.
So with happier and more positive poetic words being visually around, and less negative bad poetic words to be seen as well here, then our friends over in America might copy us and smile more too. That way the USA might also have the reputation of offering 199,000 welcomes for both locals and strangers into the bargain as it had 100 years ago.
Quiet possibly even a gun might then not forever remain symbolically a permanent-reach-for form of security clutch for too many Americans?
This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 10 August 2019.