It Is Not Blood That Makes You Irish
“It is easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song, but the man worthwhile is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with years, and the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through the tears.” (Irish Saying)
I love Saint Patrick’s Day! Being part Irish, from my mother’s side, I take great pride in that aspect of my heritage. I should like to find out one day just how much of their sweet blood I have in me, but as of now I will own whatever percent, no matter how small. And not just this one day a year, but all year long.
The question of Irish identity, and what defines Irishness, was elucidated by the prominent Irish nationalist Thomas Davis:
“It is not blood that makes you Irish but a willingness to be part of the Irish Nation.”
Now I do not usually make it a habit of spending a whole day honoring one particular saint, but this Patrick fellow has quite a wonderful story. Mostly, though, on “Saint Patrick’s Day” I am reminded of the beautiful, lush land so many miles away that I long to visit.
So in spirit of the day, I thought we should read together and bask in some old Irish wisdom…
“If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.”
“It is easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song, but the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with years, and the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through the tears.”
“I believe in the sun when it’s not shining, I believe in love even when I feel it not, I believe in God even when he is silent.”
“Continual cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom.”
“There are fish in the sea better than have ever been caught.”
“Better fifty enemies outside the house than one within.”
“Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat.”
“A good retreat is better than a bad stand.”
“Questioning is the door of knowledge.”
“The full person does not understand the needs of the hungry.”
“You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.”
“Count your joys instead of your woes; Count your friends instead of your foes.”
“Better one good thing that is than two good things that were.”
“The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune.”
“When the fruit is scarcest its taste is sweetest.”
“The Irish – Be they kings, or poets, or farmers, They’re a people of great worth, They keep company with the angels, And bring a bit of heaven here to earth.”
Tomorrow I will be running in the St. Patrick’s Day Festival and 5K sponsored by Impossible Possibilities benefiting children’s education. I will be running with my best friend, father-in-law, two co-workers, and some other good ole’ chaps. I already have my bright green running t-shirt all picked out, and I’m ready to go! How are you planning to celebrate this festive occasion?