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We must act now if we're to find common ground

I ASK myself how can I contribute to the well-being of all the people who should be my neighbours.

Should I insist on my rights? Should I insist they recognise my heritage?

Should I insist they accept my customs established over the years? Should I insist? Should I? That isn't working.

I wish to have good neighbours and enjoy their company.

I wish to enjoy my life. I don't think asking "them" to curtail their marches, or to not display their flags, or to forgive me for past transgressions (no matter how horrendous), will endear them to me.

Even if I believe the deeds I carried out were necessary for my survival, or to achieve my aims, I have to understand they may have different views.

The way ahead requires that I think. I need to think. And clearly.

I need to ensure they will accept my marches. I need to ensure they will accept my flag. I need to ensure they will accept my customs.

I need to talk to them. I can explain. I can listen to their worries. We can agree.

If we can't, then we have a problem.

How can we live together with no common view of a shared future?

How can we live together if we don't listen to our neighbours? If we don't communicate?

I need to act now. Not next week, not next month, not next year, but now.


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Belfast Telegraph


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