“Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself…”

Leo Tolstoy

Just last Wednesday I delivered a talk to the Tangible Ireland Ambassador Summer School 2016.

The subject, as always, was my frustration with hearing “What would you be moving to this feckin country for?”

Yesterday the New York Times offered this opinion piece:

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 4.06.50 PMI was reared and shaped by this era. The first presidential election I recall was Kennedy/Nixon. The worry was that “the Pope would have influence should a “Papist” win.

The real concern was about those upstart Irish-Americans lobbying for social justice. My personal hero, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was railing against “the Power Elite” and speaking for all immigrants, the Kennedys and House Speaker Tip O’Neill were supporting the war on poverty and civil rights movements. Radical policies in the day.

The anti-war movement was well influenced by Jesuits Daniel & Philip Berrigan, and we in that Catholic educated community were shaped by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement.

All were the children and grandchildren of immigrants, simply reflecting what can fairly be identified as values born on this island and further strengthened “in exile”.

So, my compatriots here in Ireland – 1/2 the US Democratic Party was listening to and yearning for the kinder, gentler capitalism espoused by Bernie Sanders.

Wake up. We have it here. Now let’s fully abandon the nightmare of Celtic Tiger when we lost sight of our values, let our health service and social housing supports be gutted by our own, home grown “power elite“.

We don’t even have to change ourselves, let’s just get back to being ourselves.