Although Saint Brigid’s Day has been and gone, we are all looking forward to the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend. An extra day to spend with our families and friends! Judging by the myriad media commentary this past week, it appears that there is a lot of doubt and confusion about Saint Brigid’s life.
RTE pulled together a very interesting piece on various St. Brigid Day traditions, such as Biddy Boy parades or processions and how some of these might now be revived. Indeed, whilst Brigid is the patron Saint of Kildare (amongst many other things) she is also dear to the affections of the people of Killorglin, where OMC’s head office is located.
The ‘Biddy’ is widely recognised as an ancient tradition associated with Mid Kerry. A Biddy group consists of masked men and women dressed in white and wearing elaborate straw hats, who visit rural and public houses. They carry a Brídeóg (effigy/doll of Brigid the goddess as a child) with them to ensure evil spirits are kept away from humans and animals alike for the coming year. In each establishment, they will play music and put on displays of dancing and singing. Of course, it goes without saying that the Kerry men and women never need much of an excuse to play music and have a good time, but this focus on Brigid is certainly a welcome one.
A Lesson in Compassion
Whether Brigid was real, or imagined or a composite figure, her compassion was legendary. Insurance is an industry populated by businesses for whom the concept of ‘compassion’ is well-known. We have said before that Insurance is a ‘good news’ story, but that sometimes the good news struggles to get out and win a hearing for itself. Whilst we can (& do!) from time-to-time need to battle with Insurers on behalf of our clients, we also acknowledge the excellent endeavours of every claim practitioner or professional.
We are, all of us, we hope, involved in the claims business for the right reasons: helping those that have suffered losses back to their feet, dusting them down and helping them to rebuild both their lives and their properties. Throughout the course of a claim there will be many points when the policyholder needs help, advice, a shoulder to cry on, reassurance or someone to listen to them who responds compassionately.
Not only is Saint Brigid is one of the Patron Saints of Ireland, she has also been charged with looking after poets, midwives, chicken farmers, sailors and scholars…amongst many, many others. Maybe we need to petition her to also find some time to care for Loss Assessors, Loss Adjusters, Claims Managers and Claim Handlers?
Whatever you choose to do this long weekend, remember those that have had some misfortune and, if you are involved in insurance, reflect on the your role in helping to assuage your clients’ worries and what we can do better to treat each other fairly.