Is féidir linn, lads
Speeches are strange beasts. The right words, delivered with purpose have been enough to change history, for better and for worse. Speeches have started and ended wars, have sent men rocketing to the moon and brought apartheids tumbling down. Calls over microphones have freed nations. Why? Because they have the power to change people’s minds.
For a nation of talkers, we’re surprisingly not that big on speeches – at least, not in the American way. There’s been the odd great one alright, but we don’t have weekly addresses on TV from Enda (ha!), or rousing chants at political rallies. It’s not our style – far too gung-ho and all that. This also means it’s not that often the country comes together to listen to what someone has to say.
The 60,000-strong crowd to see Barack Obama at College Green on Monday was made up over-whelming of young people. As it turned out, he had something to say to them.
“ Some in this enormous crowd are wondering about their own prospects and their own futures…young people, like so many who are here today…will you see the same progress we’ve seen since we were your age? Will you inherit futures as big as a bright as the ones we inherited?”
What the future holds
These are the questions on a lot of people’s minds as they worry about jobs, futures and whether they’ll be able to stay or forced to leave. This generation has been presented too many challenges and won’t get to have the same dreams. It was nice to hear someone say it.
Obama also spoke of how we had risen to challenges greater than this before. Times like these test our resilience and we have to think about what’s important to us, remembering ‘who we truly are’.
“…today Ireland’s youth…are now amongst the best educated and most entrepreneurial in the world, and I see those young people here today and I know Ireland will succeed.”
Call it rhetoric, call it politics, call it show, but sometimes you need someone to give a battle cry – to remind you of the best bits of yourself, the things you are proud of and things you are capable of. Words have the power to change minds, and maybe a few of ours were opened up about what this generation can do now. Is féidir linn, lads.