This is a great article and again super inspiring. I always wonder the cost of such advances and fight has in one’s personal life and what makes one decide that is a reasonable price to pay. Freedom, you may say, Justice, some will argue, but why is it that some just watch and accept it and others do something about it?
In my past life, as a psychologist, I went to conferences about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In one, I heard this psychologist from Australia talking about war refugees and how they overcame (or not) PTSD. She mentioned that these people sometimes were running away from being prosecuted — they had defied their governments that were corrupt and were killing innocent people in some cases. They said all of it was worth it — the fear of being caught, running away, being separated from their families, etc, as long as they knew what they did had a positive impact and that things had actually changed.
On another note, in the first part of the text I couldn’t help feel that Ireland in early 70s was Portugal a decade before. You see, Portugal was under the influence of a dictator — Salazar — for more than 40 years (from 1933 to 1974) and the (negative) impact of that close-minded ruler is still felt today. At the time, women had little rights, very much like in Ireland. Nevertheless, the worst influence has been on people’s mentality. This is something people, especially in the US, do not know, but Portugal, a super small country at the corner of Europe has been considered the bad sheep of the flock (of Europe), if not by everyone else, but ourselves. We always had this impression that we are small, not strong enough to be good in comparison with other european countries and fighting is useless. Living under a fascist leaves a deep deep mark. What is the best way to keep a whole country in check? Make sure they think they are worthless and that feeling will go from parents to children. Easy. Lately, a series of events has lifted our country’s morale. For the first time in many years people seem free of the shackles of a dictatorship — the ones hardest to get rid of — the mental shackles. We are believing in ourselves, people are thriving and tourism (and the knowledge of who Portugal is) is growing.
This is a really long text — sorry about that. But just wanted you to know that inspired me to think about other things and realise that there are sometimes unspoken heroes amongst us, willing to suffer so that they have, but really, everyone has freedom and justice.