Life Lessons Are the Same No Matter Where You Are…

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Greetings from the Emerald Isle.  I am typing this from my hotel in beautiful Tullamore in Ireland. The legendary green of the countryside is truly deserved. From almost the beginning of my time here I have realized how connected we are the world over. For example when I arrived I Greetings from Ireland2decided to go for a walk around this quaint village type town. On the street I saw a sign; it looked homemade, offering “Breast Checks Here”. Being somewhat slow it took me to the next day to realize that this was not a ruse by some college frat boys. Lesson 1 it was breast cancer awareness month here- just like in the US and it was a legitimate offer for free screening. The lesson is that we are concerned for our wives, mothers and daughters on both sides of the pond. The message- ladies get checked- please.

My host took me home one night to meet his wife and children but I am getting ahead of myself. We were to take a side trip one day to England but we did not make it. The airline was grossly overbooked. So each non European Union citizen (that includes Americans) were pulled out of line and told we had to go through a separate security screening. We missed out flight but the airline got to keep our money. The passport control officers all told us it was a money making trick by this one airline. Lesson 2– sometimes the answer is no and it is no for all the wrong reasons. As parents we need to help teach this is a reality of life.

My host has, in my mind; a serious flaw- speed limits and safe driving have no meaning to him. We darted through some of the narrowest roads at speeds I could never have imagined. It was his manner of driving and in part the way he dealt with stress- driving was his release. One night he met me with his son before going to a concert (Christy Moore a famous Irish folk singer). As we headed to the show I was amazed…with his son in the car he slowed down and was a safe and cautious driver. I jokingly asked his son about Daddy’s driving. His response was sometimes he’s not allowed to tell Mum. Lesson 3– different standards rarely work. The real lesson is that as devastating as it would be to us to lose a child- especially due to our own driving- it would be equally devastating to the child to lose a parent. The real, real lesson is that above all else our children need us to be there for them and with them.

So as I said my host took me to his home to meet his wife and other children. Greetings were exchanged all around. I was informed that his five year old daughter had been allowed to stay up late- she had never seen an American before. Lesson 4– we are all curious about each other and when done right and taught at an early age- when we teach about each other we achieve peace. So Dad asked his daughter, So what do you think, doesn’t he look just like us?” She enthusiastically nodded her head but in a small, soft voice proclaimed, “but he talks funny.”

Epilogue- one night over a pint, as they call it, I decided to relay my concerns to my friend. Another of his friends was with us and he wholeheartedly agreed there was a problem. I know my host and friend listened. Whether there will be any change only time will tell. Lesson 5 is to observe and take action, or as they say in the post 911 days, ‘if you see something, say something’. These are basic tenets of safety and leadership- whether in the workplace or at home.

From Ireland- Jim, out.

About the Author

Jim is a transportation safety expert with more than 40 years in both the emergency medical services and the school bus industries. Jim is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team and is proud to have been one of the original contributors to PediatricSafety.net more than 9 years ago.

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