*Waving … Hello to everyone who reads this.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been stuck with the ‘The Irish Way’ and wondering where to go with it.
‘The Irish Way’ is just coming up to it’s one year anniversary (June 23rd) and I am overwhelmed with the response. I am not egotistical enough to assume that it’s me people have responded to, it’s not, people have responded to the words ‘The Irish Way’ and have grabbed the concept of it, I am so grateful for that. If I have presented it in a way that other people can relate to, then I can take a little credit for that, or can I?
If how I present ‘The Irish Way’ is what has reached over 350,000 weekly readers, can I really take credit for it? At the end of the day I am relating to others in the same way my Grandparents related to me … I am passing on an Irish Way of doing something, so I can’t really take any credit for it ~ the only thing I can take credit for is sticking to what I believed was the right way to interact with people in this whole new medium of internet connection. I believe in honesty and integrity, I believe that being kind, to those who deserve it, is the best way to communicate, especially with the written word. I am not attracted to internet spaces where ranting and bullying has been encouraged by the angry who need a platform to work out their own personal issues.
We are living through the Technology Age, and I’ve wondered how to approach it. Can I add something of value to it and I’ve come to a place where I think I can, but only by referring to an older way of relating to others. ‘Don’t mind what they say, watch what they do’ is a mantra that my Grandfather spouted and I ignored until I remembered it and began to apply it. It’s a mantra that’s kept me secure for years now, patience and allowing others to be heard, not jumping to ill informed conclusions but waiting to hear what the other is trying to say. It’s an age old way of communication that is very valuable in today’s world of wording. It’s even more valuable in Ireland as it’s the way we are, fighting against it only causes us hurt. Disregarding it as ‘old fashioned’ has led to nothing, because it exists as a core value in Irish society. Denying it’s existence does not remove it. Working against the grain of who we are leaves us rough and unrefined and Irish people are anything but rough and unrefined.
Just look at our arts and our scenery and you’ll see the beauty of what lives in Irish people.
Having spoken with Joe (photographer) and Felicity (writer) and thousands of others, I see them understanding, this grá is in them too and it has become the common ground on which we have formed very real friendships … and I am reminded that this too is The Irish Way.
We reach out to others – we find like minded people, we share what we love and invite you to love it too. It’s how we connect, it’s how we are.
Ireland, like a lot of other countries, is suffering a huge financial crisis, the breakdown of our church has left a massive gap in the day to day way we ‘gather’ and exchange topics of interest. Our emigration has increased and our dissatisfaction with our Governments decisions has manifested itself in outrage and death threats to certain individuals.
I too am angry, but I’m not as angry as I was because I’ve spent the last year listening to others and I’ve seen first hand the efforts people are going to, to get themselves away from the constant, negative, drip fed media mould of our newspapers.
I often get the sense that some ‘think tank’ has applied individual psychoanalysis theory to a group dynamic – just another botched attempt to ‘feed people thoughts’ – but here, in this cyber community, I see the realness of people. From your personal messages, you’re feedback and your comments I am no longer in doubt as to the heartfelt desire that people have, to connect with the place of their heritage, whether they now live in Ireland, Germany, Australia, America, England … Sure, I have that myself and I live here, I want to know more about the stock I come from, we all do .. .and that itself reminds me of an old Irish way of doing something … do you remember years ago when you’d tell your parents about someone and straight away they’d ask, ‘Who’s their Mother?’ and then the connection would be made before you were allowed to tell your story?
After the ‘Celtic Tiger’ has roared and instilled the fear and mistrust of each other into us.
After the Irish government and the Vatican have argued about it’s embassy placement, and left people bereft in their spiritual searching, after our hunger for a better way of life has left so many in financial crisis and a feeling of desperation has oozed it’s way into the lives of too many … our death by suicide is frighteningly high, our drug dependencies are rising while our willingness to hope is decreasing … I can tell you that people are still reaching out to each other, we are mending ourselves, we are weaving old and new again and are allowing a healing process to work it’s magic and a lot of us are using the internet to do it.
Technology and me … Technology has crept into my life and the internet has opened doors that would otherwise have always been closed to me. I have a teeny-tiny window that I can see through but it’s only by approaching it ‘the Irish way’ that I’ve been allowed to see all the great things that are happening. Which reminded me of another old Irish saying
‘A skilled craftsman does not mourn his old tools, he keeps them beside his new ones’