Ever wonder about the influence of your heritage? Here are some reasons to feel exceptionally proud.

Have any more reasons you can add?

1. You know you come from an ancient civilization, older than the builders of the Egyptian pyramids, 8,000 years of habitation on the island of Ireland. Compare that to the 240 years since America was created.

2. You know you are part of one of the great Diasporas on earth. 70 million people worldwide can claim Irish blood yet there are only six million people now in Ireland making us the largest Diaspora with the smallest home country number.

3. You know at one point your people helped save western civilization. As outlined by Thomas Cahill the ancient and holy scripts of great European libraries and repositories were destroyed during the dark ages. But Irish monks had kept the contents alive by copying them.

4. You know the world will break your heart -- from Famine to assassination of our first Irish Catholic president not to mention British repression and occupation the Irish have to be especially resilient to stay alive.

5. You are born with poetry in your soul. From the time of the ancient bards down to Joyce and Yeats the gift of poem, song and story is a huge part of our legacy. There is a touch of the poet about most Irish.

6. Land and family are the most precious of all to you. You fought for your own and for centuries and were usually dispossessed. Family is tight knit and caring, reflecting the many deep experiences families have gone through.

7. You delight in the absurd. Your sense of humor is well honed and can be black and bitter but also very funny. There is none better than the Irish to tell jokes about themselves.

8. Your faith is simple but deep. Despite all the centuries of oppression your ancestors held on to your Catholic faith despite the deepest privations such as the Penal Laws. Whatever your beliefs now, you come from a deeply spiritual tradition. 

9. A dark pint, a cold night, a warm hug and a deep conversation and friendly embrace. What could be better?

10. Through thick and thin you are an optimist. As a race we soldiered through far too much to give up now. “Fagh an Bhealach (”Clear the Way”) as the American Irish in the US Civil War would roar as they rode into battle.

Ever wonder about the influence of your heritage?iStock