Thursday, March 17, 2011

Was Saint Patrick an American?

"The Permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that Permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The Progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that Progression, a people stagnate." Russell Kirk
I wonder if part of what makes St Patrick's Day so big in the United States is the sense of continuity and connection that it provides in a country so often defined by its capacity for change? My company's latest survey of Irish Americans certainly confirms its importance to at least 40 million Americans.

But I think here in Ireland we also need to reconnect with the deep sources of identity and continuity that have inspired us as a people through good times and bad. Especially the bad.

A Happy St Patrick's Day to you.

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