On this the great day honoring St. Patrick, there are many lessons that can be taken away from his story.
Historical Lessons (thanks to History.com for filling in the holes in my knowledge):
- When the Roman Empire fell, Rome withdrew its allegiance with Britain so the Irish began kidnapping and making the British slaves, which Patrick was for ten years. Once he escaped, he became a priest in Europe before returning to Ireland (after he was called to do so in a dream). Once there, he converted the Celtic pagans to Christianity.
- The Irish began celebrating this day following the death of St. Patrick in the 7th century.
- St. Patrick’s blue is actually a real color, but we associate green with St. Patrick because of the lush terrain of the Emerald Isle and the shamrock, which St. Patrick used to explain the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in one body).
- On St. Paddy’s Day, a shamrock was put in one’s lapel to commemorate St. Patrick’s work.
- In 1798 during the Irish Uprising, wearing green and having a national saint was an inspiration for the politically minded. The uniform of those Uprising then became green.
- St. Patrick was a slave in Ireland…and he came back to save the people. If that’s not an inspiring lesson in forgiveness, I don’t know what is. Instead of resenting the country and its people, he believed he had their best interest at heart.
- Making an impact in someone’s life can change the world. When large populations of people celebrate one’s life and their accomplishments, a great legacy has been achieved; however, how you arrive at that legacy is up to you.
- Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Kindness goes well beyond doing/buying something nice for someone else or donating money. Making someone feel important, happy, or recognized might have a bigger impact.
- The small memories in life are just as important as the big gestures. One small act of kindness might lift someone’s spirits or brighten their day. In return, they’ll be kind to another.
- People always need role models and others to look up to in their lives. Be that person today and every day.
It’s true; my life lessons mimic my history lessons and they’re a tad cheesy/a stretch but at the core, the message of kindness is simple: “May the kindness you spread keep returning to you!” We wish you wonderful St. Paddy’s Day!
Now go enjoy a Smithwick’s or some Guinness stew!