Nuggets and cheese

I was watching The Rose of Tralee the other night with my daughters. The Rose of Tralee, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is a kind of beauty pageant which celebrates Irish womanhood and draws its contestants from the Irish diaspora. Or to quote Fr. Ted, its a “lovely girl competition”. It has become a bit of a tradition in our house to watch it every year. We oooh and aaah at the dresses, we cringe at the awkward interviews and we sneer at the cheesy poetry of 7th generation Irish cailíns.  A veritable cheese-fest in other words…what’s not to love about it? In and out between there are usually a few stand out contestants who are hilariously funny or seriously talented and these nuggets make it worthwhile. On Monday night there was one such nugget; the Dubai Rose, Molly Marie Ryan spoke movingly about the tragic death of her sister, ten years ago and as her ‘party piece’ recited a poem (I believe it was written by Mother Teresa) called Life Is…

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”

What a great description of life in all its dirty glory. I think it should be compulsory reading in secondary schools. We really need to teach the next generation that life doesn’t always go to plan, bad things happen, loss happens, we’re sometimes disappointed but equally life isn’t all bad…good things happen, we sometimes get our heart’s desire etc. There is a balance of good and bad and we need to recognise and embrace all that’s good in our lives because those things are what will nurture us and keep us going through the difficult times.

So there you go, a true nugget amongst all the cheese.

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