No Matter the Cost

“Hello,” “Good morning,” “You alright?” What is going on here? Why are these random people greeting me everywhere that I go? Where I am from, if I look at someone while near them on the street I will get a dirty look or an angry remark. As I walk down the stone path streets of Cloughjordan I am able to further my understanding of the community that everyone around the village built. When you get to villages like this, the population starts to dwindle tremendously compared to the larger cities, everyone knows everyone. There is a sense of belonging in each place I visited, and every community member knows if you are actually a part of the community or not. Residents do things for each other even if it requires some personal sacrifices. While exploring the area, in the eco-village, I spoke with a local bartender about life in the small village. Cloughjordan is a special example because of how small the village is, but the bartender said something that stuck with me: “If I closed down shop tomorrow and started collecting unemployment, I would earn more money per week than if I ran this pub.” I responded, “Then what is stopping you from doing something like that?” He replied, “I could not leave an occupation like this where I am able to be paid to see everyone in the village that I have grown up with and am close to, it gives me a sense of meaning.” He seemed so passionate as he spoke, he has been dealing with these hardships for nearly twenty years, but even with all of that he loves every second of it. To struggle for the sake of having a happy life is not an easy choice to make, but to that bartender it was the best choice he ever made.

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