I feel proud. So intensely and unreservedly proud.
Of our nation. Of our people. Of our athletes.
Since watching the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics just over two weeks ago, I found myself drawn into the whole thing and within days was fully immersed into the ‘Team GB’ Olympic spirit!
The television was on in the background most days and on countless occasions I caught myself, shouting at the top of my lungs to the television screen as I cheered athletes on, saw medals being won and watched truly special moments unfold before my very eyes, as hopes and dreams suddenly became realities.
As the two weeks went on, I literally felt the unity of the nation create something precious, something tangible, something that has the potential and momentum to accomplish something well into the future. And not just in the realm of sport. London 2012 could be a pivotal point for Great Britain as a nation but it requires us to continue in our loyalty, in our pride and in our unity.
A few years ago we went on holiday to Costa Rica and went on several day excursions to various sights, including a day trip to Nicaragua. In both these countries I was impacted hugely by the sheer pride that was so apparent in everyone about their countries and their nationalities. I remember feeling a tugging and a yearning in my heart that one day that would be the case for us here in Great Britain. My experience of British people has not always, but very often been so negative. We moan and complain about too much. The government. The laws. The health system. The education system. The economy. Our neighbours. The traffic. The weather. In fact, just about anything! And we so often overlook the good, the positives, the strands of gold that are threaded through the core of our country.
London 2012 has shone the torch and exposed that very gold that has been there all along; our innate but often suppressed pride of our Britishness and our ability to truly excel when we unite with one mind and one heart. Over the last two weeks, everyone has come together; the Olympic Committee, the government, the military, the athletes, the people across the nation. The committee have done a great job organising the whole thing, the government has invested finances, the military have kept us safe and given us the opportunity to connect with them – the very people who are generally out of reach but who do an amazing job protecting, defending and fighting for us all, the athletes have given their all and achieved greatness and we, the British people have run with it all, creating drive and atmosphere and passion. Excitement has built and the atmosphere has been electric.
As we came to the end of the two weeks and I chatted to various friends, it appeared lots of us were thinking the same thing; how we would overcome the ‘post-Olympic blues’! Beneath the lighthearted chat, there was also the very apparent underlying hope that as the Olympics come to a close, the heart of a united Great Britain would not disintegrate into just memories but that the drive, passion and belief would carry on in to the future!
The key? It’s been threaded into the whole campaign – to ‘Inspire a generation’. It is so important to invest in and build up the next generations in every single aspect of life. If we want our nation to continue in its greatness, then we have to build confidence, passion, love, pride and unity in our children; in the very people that will take over from us. Life is a relay. We are in a race against time to do our very best, achieving every thing we can on our ‘shift’ before handing the baton over to our children and giving them the very best start for theirs.
Last week I heard a quote, ‘In all you do, make your average everybody else’s best’. I love this and the heart behind it. Because if we all live in this, then we will automatically raise the standard.
Over the last two weeks, I have been inspired. Inspired to be bolder about my sheer pride in being British, of our potential, of our achievements. Inspired to raise the standard in my own life – I do already always strive for excellence in everything I do but fresh inspiration always ignites fresh energy. And inspired to build more in the next generation; through my teaching and through my interactions with the children in my life!