Arriving back from Delhi, India to headlines of a collapsing Eurozone, an officially bankrupt Sean Quinn and an imminent budget yesterday, dare I say it; are we as a nation really that bad off?
Sure the Celtic Tiger engulfed us all in a world of greed, and sure we may be downgrading from the 6 bed to the 3 bed house, and sure we may be trading in the beamer for a banger, but having spent two weeks in New Delhi the definition of the so called ‘tough time’ we are now faced with during this economic crisis for me has utterly changed. Approximately 14 million people live in Delhi, the vast number of people I witnessed during my stay were sprawled across the roadside, living in slums, trawling through garbage for food, and begging for money. I felt ashamed of the vulgar lifestyle we have enjoyed for so long in Ireland – maybe we can’t venture out every weekend for a three course meal, and secure a VIP entrance into Dublin’s finest nightclubs as frequent as we once did, but most can afford a life which can fulfil all our basic needs and may I ask, what else matters? When amputees approach you in traffic, when young kids without parents nearby scamper through the unsafe traffic of Delhi in a bid to halt cars for food and a couple of rupees, and when you pass frail people lying on the roadside unsure if they are alive or dead, you begin to count your blessings!
With a Masters in Finance I’m fully aware of the term ‘recession’ – and the severity of the current Eurozone crisis, but I am also human, and recently awakened to the fact that we live a rather self centred life of oblivion. So next time you moan that you can’t afford the latest Gucci handbag or Apple’s latest gadget – spare a thought for those less fortunate; in truth we are better off than we think! And for those of you with enough cash (still!) – fly to Delhi if only for the weekend and see for yourself!
The Forgotten Irish Graduate, November 2011