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Are we in Ireland more pessimistic than other countries?

Over on SME Links Ireland group on LinkedIn Bob Tallent asked a great question, following an article in the Irish Times yesterday. Are we in Ireland more pessimistic than other countries?

As you can imagine the discussion thus far has been great. So where has this pessimism and negativity come from? One respondent to the discussion Paul Lanigan believes it’s a leftover form our colonial past. I would have to agree with him.

For my part, I believe that there is a generation of people who operate with a deeply ingrained pattern of very destructive behaviour. They love nothing more than dragging down their neighbour. In saying that, I realise that there is a large body of Post Colonial theory that interrogates this, Edward Said being one. Not being appreciated in your own country/place is one of the hangovers of a colonialist society, constantly looking for validation from the coloniser long after that relationship has changed. And by looking for validation runs down the capabilities and aptitudes of their fellow country folk.

I think the other important lesson here is confidence, an emerging nation finding their own voice and having the confidence to be proud of their achievements and abilities. I am glad to see that the begrudgery and cynicism so often equated with Irish people is beginning to evaporate. If the lessons of BizCamp Dublin and Limerick are anything to go by, we have managed to break the cycle and raise a generation of confident young people and entrepreneurs who are ready and willing to take on the world and better yet help their neighbour, colleagues and friends. The past ten years have rewarded us with the confidence to get things done, to work together and with the knowledge that we can be hugely successful. Hopefully the doom and gloom merchants will follow the achievers and leave the slagging matches to the football field from now on.

Image thanks to WxMom (cc)