Friday, August 8, 2008


Beijing, China. We have heard more about the pollution than anything else. The opening exercises are focusing on the least so far, we are only an hour in.

It is an amazing display with unbelievable choreography. The technology is amazing and yet, some things that I thought were computer-run were human-run. Beautiful humans. The amazing drummers were told to smile more. Why, I wonder? Does China want to change their image with a smile. Do they think I will buy Chinese dinnerware because of a happy citizen's face. It's nice to see them smile but it's a "no" to the dinnerware. To change their image they must be strict in what they import. Internal policies too, need to be addressed. No longer will they be cloaked. This opens their country for worldwide scrutiny.

15,000 performers, each one whose life will be changed because they were chosen to be in this Olympic opening ceremony. For some it will be the highlight of their lives.

These Chinese people, these billion plus people, are all being changed for the better or the worse, just like you and I, every day of their lives. When we think of the Olympics we think of the athletes but it's not the athletes I am thinking of tonight. I am thinking of the woman, living in a hill town, squatting so seemingly effortlessly, over a charcoal fire, making her family's meal in one pot. The Olympics is not an important event in her life tonight. Seeing her family fed is. I see in the young man who leaves his family farm to go to the city and work in a factory so he can send money home. I see the young girl who lives in an orphanage because she was not born male, waiting for anxious parents from another country to get the papers in order so she can have a family.

Each number is a person, has a face, has fears and hopes and dreams. Each person has myriad experiences that are unique to them only. Each has a story. How I wish we could hear them, these stories of people not so different from us.

Let the games begin!


Lucy said...

beautiful insight to the start of the games. Precious heart as well.

tearese said...

My family used to always watch the olympics, the only sports that we even cared about . Now that I'm married, my husband cares even less, and I always forget to watch them until they're almost over.
Have you ever read The Good Earth? we read it in a high school English class; its about China and I found it interesting.

Colette Amelia said...

Lynne very dear sentiments. All my chinese friends...and I know they are not the majority of the people for the majority of the people are very poor and the ones who came to stay with me were the middle class.

I found them to be very proud of their Country and as well they realize the many hurdles that it has in providing a good life for its people for they have come so far in the last short while. Women have become equals and not just chattel of men. Girls are wanted and many of the orphanages are having to close. They value education and parents save money from the time their children are babies. Family is important. Friends are very important as there is less of an extended family with the one child policy.

I think many of my guests would compare the life we have here and felt that they had a good life in China.

The key of increasing the middle class is having their economy maintain or grow. They depend on their exports to bring their Country into one that is more open and more prosperous for all.