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Where are we going...

category national | irish social forum | opinion/analysis author Saturday September 11, 2004 11:40author by Tomauthor email olearys at oceanfree dot net Report this post to the editors

...and why do we want to get there so quickly?

"Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labeled Utopian."

- Emma Goldman

As we enter another season of newfound campaign promises and strategies for change, how many of us are aware of the future vision of our society; for our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren? Every successful organisation creates a vision to guide its growth and evolution. Certainly our society has one to help guide us. Or do we? Unfortunately, as a natural occurrence within a democratic government, partisan politics inhibits the creation of a societal vision that is appealing to everyone. How then, can we successfully navigate our society toward a mutually desirable future?

Ireland's cultural evolution during the past decade was driven by copycat strategies and initiatives rather than by a focus on a cultural vision. Rather than forge our own unique path, capitalising on natural and indigenous talents and potentials; our strategy for growth was steered by benchmarks from America, England, and France. Reality television programmes, fad cuisine, cafe culture, and popular music production are but some examples of growth areas that developed by copying recipes already written. Moreover, our own creative and indigenous pursuits were thwarted by our attempts to mirror the achievements of other cultures. We became followers rather than leaders. We wanted something that others had rather than created something that others wanted.

It is possible to create a universally supported vision in an organisation, like our society, hosting a variety of beliefs and viewpoints. The foundation of such a vision is constructed by those core desires shared by all within a complex society; such as health, comfort, freedom, access and safety. Special interests can be accommodated above this foundation as necessary to allow for individual expression, spirituality and fulfillment.

It seems as though we are rushing forward without a compass. Where are we going and why do we want to get there so quickly? I challenge the current and forthcoming leaders of our society to step back and give some thought to the ultimate destination of our path forward. The journey will be much more direct that way.

Related Link: http://www.geocities.com/recruitoleary/2004.html
author by Michael Hennigan - Finfacts.compublication date Mon Sep 13, 2004 17:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The link on Tom's piece only works when the forward slash at the end is deleted.Fixed now - IMC Ed Seeing that Tom is based in Sligo and an O'Leary, his piece brought to mind William Butler Yeats' 'September 1913' - which goes to show that the gombeen man isn't just a creation of the Celtic Tiger!

William Butler Yeats - September 1913

What need you, being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone?
For men were born to pray and save:
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Yet they were of a different kind,
The names that stilled your childish play,
They have gone about the world like wind,
But little time had they to pray
For whom the hangman's rope was spun,
And what, God help us, could they save?
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Was it for this the wild geese spread
The grey wing upon every tide;
For this that all that blood was shed,
For this Edward Fitzgerald died,
And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
All that delirium of the brave?
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Yet could we turn the years again,
And call those exiles as they were
In all their loneliness and pain,
You'd cry, 'Some woman's yellow hair
Has maddened every mother's son':
They weighed so lightly what they gave.
But let them be, they're dead and gone,
They're with O'Leary in the grave.

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