Yesteryear’s Memories: Wearin’ of the Green

March 15, 2023

Back in grade school, we kids were happy to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Our classroom was resplendent in green shamrocks cut out of construction paper, we drew pictures of rainbows leading to the inevitable pot of gold, and we were always cautioned to wear something green so we wouldn’t get pinched. It was fun and interesting, and we heard the stories of how he was kidnapped by pirates and held as a slave and how the famous saint ‘drove the snakes out of Ireland’. We learned how St. Patty brought Christianity to the Irish people. We were steeped in the lore of the holiday — and of course believed every bit of it. That was then. Later, we would hear different versions. A lot of them.

Slowly the story changed. It seems that St. Patrick wasn’t Irish at all. I understand that he was born in Britain and that’s why some Irish marauders took him away as a teenager when they attacked his wealthy family. But then, the story changed again and it was reported that he was never kidnapped at all, but just wanted to get away from his family, as teenagers are sometimes prone to do. Other authorities claim that Patrick wasn’t even his name. Other versions in the story claim that he never brought Christianity to Ireland because there were already Christians there. They say green wasn’t the original color associated with St. Patty — it was blue until the 1800s. And where did the leprechauns come from? They also tell us that he couldn’t have ‘driven the snakes out of Ireland’ because there were no snakes there anyway.

Starting to get the picture? I get the feeling that St. Patrick was sort of like the Easter Bunny, or perhaps the Tooth Fairy. Maybe there was a guy by that name who did something akin to the deeds they give him credit for — but then again, how will we ever know? What is the real truth? It’s like so many of the other pieces of history we learned. They have been edited, twisted, and massaged into something completely different over the years. It’s like we humans are unable to stick to the truth.

Jumping ahead to today, it’s no different and maybe way worse. We hear that a certain food is the best. A year later, eating that food is certain death. Exercise is good for you. Exercise is bad for you. Fat is bad. Fat is good. Sleeping eight hours is ideal. Sleeping eight hours is too much. Sleeping eight hours is not nearly enough. Wine is bad for you. Wine is good for you. It never ends.

I guess the only thing that we can be sure of is that just about everything changes. The laws of physics are set in stone — until they aren’t. And the best thing to do in any situation was the very worst thing you could imagine just a short time ago. We can be sure that whatever is believed as truth may not be true next week. So I have only one piece of advice. Don’t believe anything that you hear, only a small part of what you see, and for goodness’ sake, don’t even listen to anything the government or the mainstream media reports because it will most probably be a lie. It’s like when your parents told you, “This won’t hurt a bit!” But you know it will.

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