A little national pride goes a long way

London is looking amazing at the moment. Union flags are everywhere: all the way down Oxford Street, Regent Street and all the main thoroughfares, and Jubilee is in the air. The Jubilee pageant on Sunday 3rd June promises to be spectacular, and I shall be watching it with my family and lots of girls from my school on one of the bridges, as part of the Plan UK contingent. The Countdown Clock to the London Olympics, which is ticking away in Trafalgar Square, is adding to the excitement and anticipation. 2012 will be a great year for our Queen, our capital and our nation.

And Calne in Wiltshire, home to St Mary’s Calne, is looking pretty amazing as well – red , white and blue bunting has been going up over the past week, in honour of the Olympic Flame, which touched down in the UK on Friday and which will pass through Calne on Wednesday. We will all be out there along the route, waving our flags and cheering the flame on its way across the UK as it heads eventually to London and the opening ceremony of the Olympics on 27th July at the Olympic Park.

An igniting of national pride from time to time can be a really good thing: the feel-good factor it brings reminds us of the importance of togetherness and shared values. And I am not detecting any sense at all of the negatives that can easily accompany this national focus – a superiority over others, for example, or sneering about other nations. Instead, we are all, quite simply, feeling good about being human beings. We are honouring a great woman who has given 60 years of service to the UK and to the Commonwealth of Nations, and we are looking forward to honouring the great athletes – representative of nations from all over the world – who will descend upon London shortly, if they are not here already.

When we feel inspired and uplifted, anything can seem – and, I believe, is – possible. Immerse yourself in red, white and blue, marvel at the achievements of the human race, and let your imagination run free as you seek – with us all – to make this world a better place. A little national pride could take you a very long way indeed.


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