Olympic Games and nationalism

© Mirefa
Look at this great shot on the left by Olga Mirenska. No wonder it has sold 170 times. I can see images in my mind of this happening all over the world right now. This is one of the things the Olympics does to us. Motivates us to dream a dream about inspiration and be motivated by the plays to get outside and shoot a few baskets.

The other thing it does is to bring out both healthy and unhealthy nationalism. A sure sign of HEALTHY nationalism was the practice match in the women’s basketball between the USA and Australia. Australian star Penny Taylor (who actually plays in the USA as her job) got a black eye from USA star Tina Thompson. This is the games where people put aside their team loyalties for those of their country.

The Americans said: “The Australians always bring out the best in us.”

Globalisation has virtually made borders of nations invisible. And for most Westerners, we can hardly say we are still this tribe or that tribe, because we a big mix of many tribes. But we need tribalism as a way of forming a bond, so we can say we are part of this or that mob. We need attachment, and belonging.

In this modern world, healthy nationalism is about us as a mature species understanding our frailty and needing that bond. The love of our “mob” should be understood as a human need and NOT a strange belief that our mob is superior to your mob. We are all made up of the same DNA.

I heard a scientist on the radio say the other day that if we compared humans to an automobile, the largest gap in the DNA between all the people of this Earth would equate to a coat of polish on the paintwork.

Let’s make the time this Olympics and cheer for our mob, but have in the back of our minds, we really all are made up of the same stuff.

Photo credits: Alain Lacroix, Olga Mirenska.

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