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The Day I switched allegiance.....

The letter was dated less than twelve months ago, but, when I think back to the time I received it, it may as well have been a lifetime ago. So much had changed since I received this correspondence and as I now gazed upon it, I couldn't help but feeling somewhat ashamed of how my mind ticked during the time of the origination of this same letter, less than a single year ago.

This letter was a correspondence I received from one of my previous heroes, Michael O Leary of Ryanair fame, to a letter I initially wrote him. I adored "our" Michael and everything he stood for. I was either ignorant or didn't care about anything that didn't exist within the bubble of the business world. I could be forgiven somewhat for being briefly oblivious to the world around me at a time when I was trying to launch my business, however, my ignorance went beyond blind drive and ambition. Business was all that mattered. Many a night of public sector bashing and arguments with friends and family was had in these days of business bliss. I genuinely was blind to the plight of any other sector of society other than those of a young entrepreneur.

The winter arrived, and with it, it brought a terrible illness, one I have suffered from ever since, one that rendered me pretty much paralysed for 8 months. I am loathe to say I am grateful for this illness and the pain it brought with it, the pain I still suffer from it, however, I am grateful to it for changing my whole outlook on life, an outlook I will never sway from. My political ideology was a right wing one, one where the public sector were paid too much, one where tax cuts should come ahead of improved services, one where even the most vulnerable in our society were going to feel significant pain. Don't get me wrong, I was never some sort of Charlatan adoring, society loathing right wing animal. I was raised better than to despise humanity in such a way, I did however adorn figures with no such love for their fellow citizens and the welfare of those less fortunate. My crime was in believing such an ideology to be fair.

What has changed since that time? Not much really. I still own and run a small business. I still am the same person. I still live in the same area. I still know the same people. But so much has changed. Recently I apologised to many of the people who were on the receiving end of some of my right wing rants back in the day. I now know what I want from life more than ever before and while I still own and run a small business, I will not be a business owner in five years time. I am going back to college to chase my childhood dream of being a doctor. Now, more than ever before, being able to help the sick and needy means the world to me. A year ago, I was having arguments with family about privatising the Irish health system, that same thought now sends shivers down my spine.

So am I now some sort of Marxist left wing revolutionary type? No, however I can confirm I certainly sit a considerable distance away from my metaphorical former self, both economically and socially. It is a dramatic turnaround which I cannot explain, outside of presuming it was always within me. Perhaps the selfishness of entrepreneurship smothered it and blinded me to the workings of the real world. In any event, I am a changed man, a man more concerned with social profit than materialistic profit. I listen to Michael O Leary these days and cringe, I read business sections and shrug my shoulders; do they not understand how insignificant it all is? Why do they pour so much of their lives into something that delivers little or no value to society other than keeping your bank managers valium dosage low? Understandably people in business have mouths to feed and heads to keep a roof over, I am not debating this fact. I am however speaking of the people who spend so much time wrapped up in the business cocoon that they no longer kiss the same heads goodnight or hear words from the mouths they feed. Do they not get it? Is it hypocritical for me to now act so self righteous? Am I being grossly naive or idealistic? I can't answer any of these questions, only others can. However, I do know a few things for sure. My friends and family have all commented on how much nicer it is to be around me, I was pretty impossible in my wannabe "jet setting" days. I have a whole new, friendlier outlook on life. I now know what I want to do and achieve within this life and I am, most certainly, happier for it. 

I can't give you a date or time it all changed for me, I can't even tell you why, hell, I can't even say for sure I am now a "left winger" as I believe fundamental flaws still remain within both sides of the political, economical and social ideologies. One thing I can say for sure though is I am a changed man, a better man I hope!


  1. Incredible post. I wish you all the best in life Diarmaid.


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