(Or “The things that have happened, and how I feel about them.”)
If I try to write about how profoundly ace this week has been, and in how many ways, I – even I – can’t find the words. I am madly in love with the Olympics, and with the effect it is having on London. People! Are being friendly! Wherever you go, everyone is talking about the same thing, and we have something in common with strangers, for a change. We Londoners currently live in the happiest city on Earth. Stop and think about that for a second. It doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems. That happiness is a bass line running under an infinite variety of melodies, many of which are informed by it, many not.
Most of us have probably sat in our living rooms batting happy, or often simply awe-struck tears from our eyes in the last seven days, most evenings, where normally we marinate in a lazy soup of crime dramas, political contention, pointless Eastenders-squawking, THE OMG OMG MARKETS, and a general sea of death, drama, distress and one set of people disapproving of another. We form our opinions, pick our sides. It is all struggle, all against.
Take that rubbish away for a week and put something about human greatness, achievement, work and the joy of effort, and about how wonderful our all being together is, how wonderful humans are, on telly and in the papers, and in people’s minds, and literally everyone changes into a better human being. Instead of against, we are with.
It’s brilliant and we should be drawing wider lessons from it as a society, but I bet we don’t.
That doesn’t mean one can’t draw personal lessons from it and apply them. You can use these moments to slingshot yourself in better directions, and I have spent this week doing that. The future I had before the Olympics is not the future I have now. I’m going to let this week (and the weeks to come, with the rest of the Olympics and the Paralympics), serve as a bit of a milestone in my life. A very nice object lesson in what human beings are really about, and what a proud thing is is to be one. No one person at the Olympics is the best, though any may be the best in their field. What is best about the Olympics is that there are so many fields, so many different people with different specific talents, none of which are interchangeable, all of which deserve representation.
Everyone is a giant in some way. Find your way, stop competing in the wrong events. Whatever you’ve got, let it fly. x