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I watched a fascinating movie recently: The Departed, by Martin Scorsese.

There’s an interesting line in the movie where Matt Damon’s character tells his girlfriend, “If we’re not gonna make it, it’s gotta be you that gets out, cause I’m not capable. I’m Irish, I’ll deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life.”

That was a characterization of Irishness that I’d never heard before, but it kind of struck a chord with me.

Now before I go further, let me say that I don’t usually think of myself as Irish. I consider myself English more than anything. But I am about one-sixth Irish, and occasionally I encounter situations where I feel more Irish than not (though only in addition to feeling English).

I often feel like I have a strange capacity to endure wrong things, especially when loyalty is involved. When presented with a choice between righting a wrong through disloyalty on one hand and enduring the wrong while maintaining loyalty on the other, I’ll choose to suffer loyally just about every time.

Is this an Irish trait showing through in my character? Or does it come from something else?