‘There is no wealth but life.’ Could there be any more concise and profound challenge to our current economic system and materialistic values? Yet this is a quote from John Ruskin’s ‘Unto This Last’, published in 1862.
We can only guess what was going through the minds of Martin McGuiness and Elizabeth Windsor as they shook hands in Belfast last week. Several commentators recognised the symbolism of a painful process of reconciliation. Lessons from Northern Ireland about the futility of violence need to be applied in other parts of the world, and in other areas of life.