Back in the 90s when I travelled to Nepal, I was struck most forcibly by the faces of the Nepali people — I had never seen such open, sincere smiles on so many people in my life.

It looked different from what I saw every day on the streets of New York or London. Completely different.

Last week, my daughter and I were watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics when she turned to me and said, “I know what it is about the Olympics — everybody’s smiling.  That’s what’s making us all feel so happy.”

And she was right. It wasn’t just the gold medallists. It was the fans, the crowds on the street, the volunteers, the coaches, the commentators, the people at home watching TV, everyone.

Big, open, sincere, happy smiles.

For a while, we were all part of one big joyous party. And it felt so much better than being grumpy and cynical that I wonder why we don’t try it all the time.

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5 thoughts on “Olympic afterthoughts.

  1. Anthony McGowan 4 years ago

    Went on the tube late at night a couple of times and found myself surrounded by Olympic revellers. At first I thought they must all be one big group who’d travelled together – they were all chatting and laughing like old friends. Then it became clear that they didn’t actually know each other, but were just being open and happy. All very unLondon and, as you say, wonderful.

  2. Vanessa Harbour 4 years ago

    I agree totally. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be like this the whole time. The point is that it shows we can do it, we don’t need to be grumpy and cynical all the time. I think you are right, maybe it is time to make the effort.

  3. Jake Elliott 4 years ago

    Because when the BBC only report on depressing things like the cost of petrol, wars, new diseases, university fees, the job market, gang culture, the innocent raping of a pregnant woman, E L James getting whipped in her bath of money and America outshining us once again, it’s hard to be happy.

  4. sharon creech 4 years ago

    Yah, it’s good to see all that joy for a change. . .

  5. jongleuse 4 years ago

    Because this is England! You Americans have better teeth….

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