Slainte! That means “Cheers” in Gaelic, the native language of Ireland. This is where Karen and I spent our honeymoon and we loved it!
Although many people suggested some relaxing beach spots or cruises, we opted for a rigorous travel schedule in the beautiful countryside of the southern part of Ireland. One thing we found even more amazing than the picturesque views and the rich history, was the people. I’m struggling to put into words how nice the Irish people were and how much of a positive impact that had on me.
At one point in the trip I wasn’t feeling so well and stopped at a local doctor for some advice. It was a small practice – no receptionist, no forms to fill out, no appointment needed. The visit took all of 15 minutes and cost 20 euro without insurance. I thanked the doctor and I mentioned to him how appreciative I was and how nice the people of his country have been to us. He gave me a puzzled look and responded, “Why is it so curious to be kind to your fellow man?”
That’s a great question and it made me realize that it wasn’t so much that I didn’t understand their kindness – It was just a welcomed change from the way many of us treat each other in the hustle and bustle of our technologically-based, results-driven society to which I’m accustomed. I’m not saying the Irish don’t love their internet (or their beer for that matter), but as we got out of the cities and into the smaller towns, it was more like stepping back into a time when people asked each other how they were doing and actually wanted to hear the answer.
So the next time you raise a pint with friend, take an extra 5 minutes to ask them how they’re doing… and appreciate the simple human connection while listening to their answer.