You’ve probably heard a version of the saying, “Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” which is often used as a reason to drink as much as humanly possible in one day.

Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking, maybe just not as much as humanly possible in one day.

However, I really *AM* Irish, even though I somehow can’t stand the taste of beer. Go figure. Sorry, Kyle.

On my desk at work I keep a picture of my great grandfather Dennis Ryan, who emigrated from Ireland at the age of 12 in 1844. It should go without saying he is not 12 in this picture, but you get the idea.

The point is, I’m proud to be Irish.

My daughters were both Irish dancers when they were younger, and I loved watching them display an important Irish cultural practice.

But this brings me to a serious point. Although I think of myself as Irish-American, I’ve learned over time to appreciate other cultures because our differences make life interesting.

I’m personally fascinated by Native American culture, even though to my knowledge I have no Native American ancestry. That story is one of beauty, complexity and tragedy, and one that everyone should work to understand because it’s part of the American story -- just like the story of Hispanic people who settled in Colorado before English speaking Americans even got close. Or Black Buffalo Soldiers, who protected Colorado in the 1800s.

Cultural differences cause a lot of trouble. History is filled with examples of the terrible way human beings treat each other because of what can generally be described as our tribal instincts.

This isn’t a good thing, but it’s true and very powerful.

That’s why I don’t mind that everyone’s "Irish" on Saint Patrick’s Day. We should just all work harder to understand each other on all the other days of the year.

At least, that’s what Katie the Irish Chihuahua and I think and we’re sticking with it.

Editor's Note: Tim Ryan is the assistant news director at 9NEWS who joined the station in 1991. His Twitter profile states that he improperly blames his stubborn nature on his Irish heritage. If you are completely out of things to read you can learn more about him here.