March 15, 2015

Inspiration from Great Irish Writers to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

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On March 17th, St Patrick’s Day, rivers and monuments all over the world will be turned green in celebration of all things Irish.

Parades will march through most towns in Ireland, but also through many other cities worldwide because—despite Ireland’s small size and population (6.5 million)—its people have scattered all over the world and make an impact everywhere they go.

Ireland has produced many fine writers. To celebrate this special holiday, here’s a selection of quotes from some—certainly not all—of the greatest:

On Living & Dying

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” ~ Sean O’Casey

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“May you live all the days of your life.” ~ Jonathan Swift

On Love & Friendship

“In wise love each defines the secret self of the other, and refusing to believe in the mere daily self, creates a mirror where the lover or the beloved sees an image to copy in daily life; for love also creates the Mask.” ~ William Butler Yeats

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“There are no strangers here, only friends that have not yet met.” ~ William Butler Yeats

On Money, Work & Power

“Money makes a good servant, but a bad master.” ~ Francis Bacon

“Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.” ~ Jonathan Swift

“If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn’t be anything for us to do.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“Money does not make you happy but it quiets the nerves.” ~ Sean O’Casey

On Attitude

“Even if the hopes you started out with are dashed, hope has to be maintained.” ~ Seamus Heaney

“The frontier between hell and heaven is only the difference between two ways of looking at things.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“Absolute virtue is as sure to kill a man as absolute vice is, let alone the dullness of it and the pomposities of it.” ~ Samuel Beckett

“I’m not interested in blind optimism, but I’m very interested in optimism that is hard-won, that takes on darkness and then says, ‘This is not enough.’” ~ Colum McCann

On Success & Failure

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying… that he is wiser today than yesterday.” ~ Jonathan Swift

“All rising to great places is by a winding stair.” ~ Francis Bacon

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~ Samuel Beckett

“A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” ~ James Joyce

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.” ~ Francis Bacon

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” ~ William Butler Yeats

On the Self—Higher & Lower

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Our humanity is a poor thing, except for the divinity that stirs within us.” ~ Francis Bacon

On Happiness & Temperament

“Joy is of the will which labours, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.” ~ William Butler Yeats

“It’s my rule never to lose me (sic) temper till it would be detrimental to keep it.” ~ Sean O’Casey

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” ~ William Butler Yeats


Happy St Patrick’s Day to all who celebrate a connection with Ireland. I’ll leave you with a blessing—an old Irish proverb and a sign of high regard:

“May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead”.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig!


Relephant Reads:

My 5 Favourite Spiritual Sites in Ireland—a St Patrick’s Day Tribute

Would Saint Patrick Approve of Today’s Irish Catholics? {Inspiring Videos}


Author: Hilda Carroll

Editor: Emma Ruffin

Image via Google Images

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