Last night a group of us had the awesome experience of attending the Home Grown concert in Derry/Londonderry. The concert was made up of three bands, all who were from, and grew up in Derry/Londonderry. There was excitement and joy in the air as this was a coming home for these artists. The music was amazing, but what was even more amazing to me was the spirit of the people. There was the overwhelming feeling of love, happiness, and fun in the air. No one would have ever known the hurt, violence and anger that have been a part of this community for so long. What a wonderful way to spend one of our last nights in this life changing program; by sharing in the festive and loving spirit of this crowd welcoming and celebrating the City of Culture.
What I have learned from my experience here in Northern Ireland was even though the people here have gone through troubled and violent times they have not let that define who they are. The people of Derry/Londonderry are much more than this conflict and I could feel that spirit in the room last night. To me this lesson is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. There will be hard times, and sad times in my life but I need to focus on the good and the future. To not dwell in the past hurts of life but to keep moving forward and live in the happiness of life.