I WOULD be from another planet if I didn’t mention the election and if I didn’t mention history in the making.

I can honestly say that I never thought that I would live to see this day. I also have to bow to the democratic process which we all adhered too. I would like to offer my commiserations to those who lost in the election and offer congratulations to the winners. If ever there’s a time for cool heads it’s now for leaders to lead and show that together we can live without fear of the other.

If I’ve learned anything from my zen training it is that there is no other, unity is oneness hence the zen koan, or story, of one and one is one. I’ve learned from my mindfulness practice that everyone is my teacher. I’ve discovered what’s described as beginner’s mind and that’s where we are now at a new beginning – this moment has never happened before, so let’s embrace this moment with an inquisitive, inquiring mind, with a healthy curiosity to experience this moment for the first time.

Remember what Mark Twain said: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life most of which never happened.” So let’s together seize this moment and explore the possibilities of true equality, dignity, respect and what I’ve always believed in from an early age – harmony.

Let's move from me to we from them to us and let’s wake up to the news that we all suffer, so how can we together alleviate suffering. Let’s begin by dismantling the old divisive ways that we all know don’t work. Let’s decommission our anger, hatred, paranoia, fear and superiority and cultivate kindness, compassion, love, peace and understanding.

These are exciting times and everything is in a state of change, let’s make it a change for the better, especially through these dismal, despairing days of poverty that I have never witnessed in my 68 years. As I type my head is bursting with possibilities of how we can put into practice new solutions, to be solution-focused rather living in the problem or, better still, tolerating the problem as the norm. Together we are the solution as we wake up from the problem and see it for what it is.

I had the good fortune to visit our Muslim brothers and sisters last Sunday as they celebrated Eid in their new temporary accommodation on the Springfield Road, my old hunting ground. They told me of their previous premises on Donegal Pass, which they were burnt out off on three occasions. I was excited to empathise with them and spoke of Bombay Street a few streets away. I also asked them how they see a solution and their reply was education. I agree. We all need to be educated from ignorance based on fear to liberation based on love.

I know that I get my eyes and heart opened when I take the risk and step outside my comfort zone. The previous week I heard the voices of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers and I was moved by their stories, their journeys in search of refuge. It’s in being with these folk that I learn about common humanity.

It’s comforting watching TV but we can turn the TV off. You can’t turn off the feelings that I felt as I heard the stories that were shared. I made new friends easily for friendship is for me the key out of isolation. Sometimes a smiling face, a kind word, is all that’s required.

Do unto others that which we would like done to ourselves is an old maxim that rings in my heart. So let’s listen to our hearts and let’s open our closed hearts as we continue to make history in a world that at times looks as if it’s stuck.