Time to stop moaning?

Sir, – Thank you for ensuring Kathy Sheridan’s timely words of wisdom were on the front page of your newspaper – “Relentless negativity kills the little shoots of optimism that gets us out of bed every day” (Opinion & Analysis, September 2nd).
May I be bold enough to suggest your newspaper might consider printing postcards with the above as a “thought for the day” to be circulated to every citizen of this great little country. I am sure sponsorship could be arranged! Her words are better than any tonic. – Yours, etc,
ALICE LEAHY
Director and Co-Founder,
Trust ,
Bride Road,
Dublin 8.

Vulnerable citizens and advocacy

Sir, – The letter by Mares Hickey (June 6th) not only highlights her dealings with bureaucracy but has echoed the frustrations of many others and should be studied by those in a position of responsibility. It is truly shocking that advocates are required to ensure that people get what they rightfully deserve.
Elderly and vulnerable people, many of whom worked hard to build up this State and fought for the rights of others, find themselves now in a situation of dependency.
Technology plays a key role in the delivery of today’s services right across the board. However there is a downside to this because all too often we hear how it is the “computer’s fault” when things go wrong and files go missing.
Bureaucracy has gone mad at all levels, not forgetting the frustration of wasting time pressing buttons on a phone, never getting to speak to an actual person. This is not helped by totally unsoothing music at the other end while being assured that our patience is greatly appreciated.
Services for the public, particularly the elderly and vulnerable people and their carers should be friendly, easily accessible and certainly less complicated.
People who strive to listen to others in the delivery of services are all too often accused of “wasting time with people”. – Yours, etc,
ALICE LEAHY,
Director,
Trust,
Bride Road,
Dublin 8.

Goodwill to all

Sir,
Patsy McGarry’s article on President Michael D Higgins made for welcome reading (“Goodwill to all NGOs, gardai and the church”, Rite & Reason, December 16th). We as a nation appear to be drowning in negativity at every turn. As Mr Higgins said in Ethiopia about missionaries and those working in NGOs, “to me they represent an Irishness to which all of us should aspire”. Maybe we have to travel abroad and look back to see the qualities at times hidden beneath the surface, qualities we are afraid to express and qualities we are in danger of loosing. Blaming everyone else for the problems we see all around us has become the norm as personal responsibility appears to have taken a back seat. Wouldn’t it be great to start of the new year on a positive note, ringing to the sound of “yes we can”. This only requires changing the mindset first.
-Yours, etc,
ALICE LEAHY
Director and co-founder, Trust, Bride Road, Dublin 8

Thinking Anew

Sir, – Gordon Linney never fails to challenge and inspire (“Compassion – the heart of the ministry of Jesus”, Thinking Anew, October 18th). Commenting on the views of a lecturer on ethics who was reported as saying that compassion would not solve any problems in the NHS, he so rightly notes that “healing is not just about drugs and procedures, it is about people with feelings and anxieties who need and deserve compassion and understanding”.
Compassion in my dictionary has many definitions, all bordering on understanding, humanity, concern and care. Perhaps it is worth adding the oft-quoted words of Maya Angelou, “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,
Director,
Trust,
Bride Road, Dublin 8.