Saturday, August 16, 2008

National Pride or World Pride?

As I watch the Olympics, I hear a lot of praise for the Chinese for being so proud of their country and of the successes of their athletes. And I admit to being proud of my country and its athletic successes at the Olympics, with the phenomenal Michael Phelps and our men's basketball team coming foremost to mind. But I aspire to the highest wisdom, and I wonder if it's wiser to love one's country and to be proud of its achievements, or to love the whole world and to be proud of the achievements of all humankind, no matter which flag they fly.

I guess it's possible to do both. I'm proud of my country and the performance of its athletes in the Olympics, but I'm also happy for and even proud of the human achievements of athletes from other countries, including China, and I'm trying to be even more so. When I try to do this and the more successful I am at it, the less I feel like waving the American flag when an American wins a gold medal. and the less impressed I am with the Chinese waving their flags in the streets and stadia of Beijing.


Anonymous said...

Are you proud of China when they see a young prospective Olympian and then take that prospect away from his or her family to train specifically for their olympic performance so that the world can be "proud" of China?

Nagarjuna said...

That is a very good question. No, I'm not proud of China or any other country doing this. In fact, as much as I love to watch sports like gymnastics and marvel at the feats of these incredible athletes, I have strong misgivings about children training in these sports, even if they aren't being pressured by their country to do it.