One hundred years ago there were many differences in the way people lived in comparison to now. Modern conveniences such as electricity, television, dishwashers, electric heating, insulated buildings and internet access were unheard of at that time. Access to education and the knowledge of health care was imperfect and ownership of one’s land and access to the labour market was extremely limited.
In this New Year we are celebrating 100 years since the rising of 1916 and with it we begin the comparisons for all walks of life in Ireland. At that time equality of all citizens was a main priority for the new republic and the provision for a better future for all that could be self-governed and directed by all in the Irish republic. Of course some similarities exist as we enter into 2016. Soon we will have a political election where Irish adults can choose other options for their future and only last year there was a watershed of sexual equality in Ireland.
Another difference with 1916 is that children in general are no longer expected to work as long outside of the home to begin to contribute to the household income and if they must contribute, there are regulations against certain age related employment. Thankfully since then we have learned that each child needs to be educated depending on their individual abilities.
However, despite all the developments since 1916 we need to listen, observe and think about our children`s future and there are now two major issues facing all children and ourselves in the near future- that being global warming and the continued payback across future generations of the fallout from the 2008 recession.
Have we really developed much since 1916, and if not can we begin to develop if only for a child`s sake?