20 years ago, I worked and studied interventional cardiology in Dublin, Ireland for 6 months. After leaving there, although I traveled to Europe many times, I never set foot in Dublin again. I’ve always wanted to go back there and relive my old dream, but I just haven’t been able to do it.
Last month, by chance, I finally had the honor to return to Dublin, which I had not seen for a long time. The day after I arrived there, I made a special trip back to the place where I lived, the hospital where I worked, and the church where I attended mass.
Scenes from the past came to mind and made me feel a lot. Time flies. As soon as you open your eyes, 20 years have flown by.
This time when I came to Ireland, I decided to take the time to visit Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland), because 20 years ago I missed visiting this Irish land that already belongs to the United Kingdom.
Looking back at the history of Northern Ireland, we will see violent tragedies that divided the country due to religious, political and ethnic factors. On the journey from Dublin to Northern Ireland, the tour guide explained this complicated background history to us. The “Belfast Agreement” (Belfast Agreement) reached on Good Friday, April 10, 1998, which has been plagued by violence and bloody events for 30 years (The Troubles), is also known as the “Good Friday Agreement” “And ended.
no clear dividing line
That was the agreement on how Northern Ireland should be governed, reached after a lengthy negotiation process between the British and Irish governments and most political parties in Northern Ireland. The agreement was that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom until a majority of the people in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland rejected it. Although this is not a perfect resolution, it can at least allow the parties to the dispute to temporarily stop using force and allow the peace process to gradually unfold.
Taking a tour bus from Ireland into Northern Ireland is a unique experience. Although entering a country (UK) from one country (Ireland) there is no border control or immigration checkpoint. There is not even a clear dividing line between the two places. The guide said in a relaxed and humorous tone: “The next second you will cross the border to Northern Ireland!”
But as soon as the bus enters the roadside of Northern Ireland, various changes occur. The dividing lines on the roadside changed from yellow to white, the speed signs changed from kmph to mph (miles per hour), the road name signs changed from bilingual (English and Irish) to single English, and the flag hanging outside the building changed from Irish orange to white. The blue and green tricolor flag becomes the union jack of the United Kingdom. These changes tell us that we have entered the land of Great Britain!
There should be a concept of global village
Such a simple cross-border experience gave me a naive fantasy: How wonderful it would be if all countries in the world could be so independent of borders. Many disputes between countries are caused by border issues. We humans just like to fight with each other and fight to the death with such a narrow thinking.
How I hope that all of us will have the concept of a global village, where we can live together tolerantly without distinction.
In fact, doctors all over the world have long admired this lofty ideal. Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an organization born to implement this ideal. Doctors can perform their duties of treatment “with care without discrimination”, and humans around the world should also be able to “love without discrimination” Go love one another!
Looking back at the situation in our country, although all our ethnic groups live in a Malaysian land without dividing lines, the abominable politicians use religion and nationalism to draw dividing lines and create divisions between ethnic groups with ill intentions. They can be so irresponsible and easily create wounds to achieve their own political goals, but the damage they cause to the entire country and society is such a huge and long-term impact. The wound they cause will take a long time to heal, and it may be a wound that cannot be healed!
There is already so much suffering in this world, why do we humans still draw so many dividing lines to isolate and exclude each other?
(Guangming Daily/Doctor Column‧Author: Wu Rongliang)