Posts Tagged ‘detach’

Dear Sarah, On the Eve of your Leaving Cert

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Dear Sarah, my daughter, on the eve of your Leaving Cert,

I know you think that the entire outcome of your life hinges on how well you do in your exams.

It doesn’t.

I know you think that the grades that you feel you have to get will determine your happiness or unhappiness in life.

They won’t.

I know you think that your performance during your exams will open or close doors for you.

It won’t. (Really, it won’t: there are thousands of doors you don’t even know exist – and you will choose one of them for you!)

You may think that a certain outcome will open the particular door that you feel you most want in life.

It might or it might not open that door. But your happiness does not depend on that door opening.

You may think that the grades you get will determine how clever or otherwise you are.

They won’t.

You may think that others will judge you by the points you get in your Leaving Cert.

They won’t. (And those who do are not wise, so you can discount their judgments anyway.)

You might feel like a sword is hanging over your head.

There isn’t.

If you get the grades you want, they might or might not lead to happiness.

You could learn much more in life and be far happier if you get fewer grades than you’d like.

You know lots. Of course there is lots more that you don’t know. So in the celebrations of knowledge which are about to begin try your best to celebrate on the page what you know.

And, by the way, you know far more than you realise.

And you also know far less! (Since the more any of us know, the more we realise how relatively little we know.)

Don’t expect to be able to share everything you know: nobody can do that.

Live the moment. Live this moment.

Enjoy this moment, and, yes, enjoy, really enjoy, these celebrations of what you know. See them as your opportunity to do yourself justice – because you do deserve to do well. Just don’t worry how anyone else estimates what well means for you.

Detach! Don’t worry about the outcome. Just live in the moment. Enjoy every moment!

Love, Your Dad. 7 June 2016

Alcoholic households and the Irish body politic

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Anyone unfortunate enough to know what it is like to live with an alcoholic might see a parallel between coping with the insanity of addiction and the dysfunctional Irish political system. In an alcoholic household, the alcoholic is often the last person to admit there is a problem. He or she engages in grandiose thinking. They fail to listen. They act unreasonably. Their behaviour affects the entire household. They fool themselves. They bully. They are unaccountable. They are remarkably self-forgiving. While I am explicitly not stating nor suggesting nor implying that any member of Government is an alcoholic, the parallels are striking. The family is thrown into dysfunction and nobody knows from day to day what will happen next. The only predictable thing is that nothing can be predicted. Eventually, something like sanity is restored when healthy (non-addicted) family members say ‘Enough is enough. We’re not taking this anymore.’  They detach from the alcoholic and sanity can be restored.