Proud of Your Country – a blog in 6 parts (as it’s sooooo long, you see)
Having just experienced the biggest games on the planet (i.e. the Olympics, London 2012, in case you were asleep), I think this is the right time to post this blog.
1 – PAST & PRESENT
Far, far away in a land, long, long ago … whoops, we’re talking reality here, not fairytales, myths and legends … aren’t we?
Having said that, in order to explore this topic of ‘Pride in Your Country’, I would like to take a quick leap back in time – just a few hundred years or so.
What’s that I hear?
A History Lesson?
Clunk. Thud. Crash.
Ooops! Have you fallen off your chair with boredom already!
Cripes, any wizard’s and witches out there? Can you wave your magic wand and wake the lads and lasses up!
I don’t know. What’s so boring about the tales and exploits of our magnificently entertaining ancestors? We’ve come a long way since the fall of Rome … but that’s another tale.
Bear with me – not physically (but I can’t stop your fantasies, of course) – and your mind might well be fantasitcally broadened, or not. One can but hope.
Now, where were we?
Oh yes, history.
There’s a special sense of ancestry about England (I’m talking about England here. Not Britain, nor the United Kingdom. No apologies – it’s my blog after all). If you live here, or if you’ve visited our shores, you can’t mistake that. And while there’s a ‘cosiness’ about it, there’s something rather edgey too. It lives comfortably between two extremes – on the one hand beautiful meandering green pastureland offers up pictures of pretty cottages inviting you to gasp in wonder, on the other you’ll find colourless tower blocks in a landscape of steel and concrete that make you wonder.
Perhaps it is arrogance on my part, but I cannot think of a person who doesn’t know what Big Ben looks like, or The Tower of London’s iconic Beefeaters. Yes, I believe England has a majesty all of its own.
None of this history comes without its price though. And, before we go any further, take a look at this comment:
“I’m proud of all the great things this island nation of ours has given to the world, it’s art, it’s culture, it’s industrial innovations, it’s architecture, it’s laws, it’s language. I am proud of all those people who still love and cherish these lands of ours and appreciate the sacrifices those who have gone before us have made to keep this a reasonably green and pleasant land.” Ian @ MySpace (UK)
All this has been achieved thanks to the guidance of a ruler who was abused as a child and remained a childless single woman – Elizabeth 1st (plus a few more hardworking men who preceded her). It was Elizabeth 1st who took a debt-ridden backwater nation out of poverty and turned it into a super-power. It is Ian’s comment that prompts me to stand up for the St. George’s flag that flies as an emblem of defiant hope and patriotism.
When Ian pointed out that he appreciated the sacrifices people have made for ‘this land of ours’, I became aware of the fact that this is a restless earth and wanted to take a giant leap back to the very beginning when there was only gas and dust.
Gas and dust? But, where’s this green, green grass we’re supposed to be proud of?
Hang on a tick, and I’ll get there.
A hell of a lot of people seem to think that this green and pleasand land was formed around about 4.6 million years ago – from that cloud of gas and dust. Oddly enough, we were made out of it too (so perhaps the Bible talks some sense after all?) (Or was it the aliens?) (Phlut, phlut, let’s not get side-tracked here …).
On the other hand, I would like to deviate for a second and let you into a little secret.
For a long time, ever since I was a little girl, I wished with all my heart for a globe. My ex-boyfriend knew my dream and (bless him) acted upon it one Christmas (yes, you ‘Yankees’ readin’ this – I prefer not to call it ‘Holiday Season’ – no offence, of course). He promised me one and, forgive my expectation here, but I imagined all sorts of possibilities, the one I liked best was a big beautiful azure blue crystal globe I saw in a shop window in St. Andrew’s, once upon a time.
Alas, that is what it remained. A fairy tale, for my gift now sits on my bookshelf. All 3 inches of it. If you kink it correctly you can just about see Russia. God only knows where England is!
Regardless, I’m kind of pleased he didn’t give me the one I wanted. Why? Because it taught me to do something rather special – think outside the box.
I look at that globe and it becomes apparent to me how small we really are. For instance, I can look at a paper-cut on my little finger and see how big a problem that is for me – it bloody well hurts! More so than when a whole bone in my hand was shattered (it’s true!). Then I look at that three inch globe and think, “where am I’m located on it and how big is my finger from that point of view?”
I’d even go as far to say ‘miniscule’. Smaller than the dot at the end of this sentence
Did you look for it? The dot.
Now, let’s bring us back to the present.
When we saw all those different nationalities on that tv screen, did you think the same as I did? That the world is a wonderful place. It’s full of people who want only the best – not only for themselves and their nations – but for their families too. The one’s they love. The one’s that share their lives. The one’s that have helped them in their efforts to achieve their goals.
It’s that that makes me think that the land that’s under our feet may be different, and the borders may be there to remind us that we come from differnt turfs, and the languages may be there to stop anyone else understanding what we’re saying … but the personalities are the same.
We want to like others and be liked in return. We want to do our best. We want to give.
So, what is it that makes us fight? Surely not to protect the land we walk upon? Surely not for glory or gain? Surely not for the want of worshipping some being in the heavens above?
If we all want the same things, then why can’t we get on together?
I’ll leave you a while to ponder those questions and perhaps post your own response – until the next blog: Illusion or Enlightenment?