When Ingrid Betancourt was rescued from leftist rebels in Bogota this July, my plant manager cried.
He is from Colombia. A patch of soil in this world...rich in patriotism...and he and his countrymen have a fervor of passion for its country.
That day, I walked into my office willing my cup of Starbucks to be my Higgs boson.
"It's unbelievable!" postured my work-mate..."My country has freed Ingrid from the FARC, and we are now the talk of the world! What a great day to be Colombian."
I sat there wishing I had as much passion for my country...I mean, my decorations for the 4th is a flag that the local realtor sticks in the ground by my mailbox. I think we all wish we showed more nationalism on our sleeves, but maybe it's that we're too busy being busy to stop and smell the red white and blue.
So it was no surprise that when Monday morning arrived...I rolled into the office and was stopped by no less than 3 employees smiling...no...whooping it up...intimating that Camilo Villegas won an American golf tournament.
Now...these people have never golfed, think a rescue club is a Che Guevara nightspot, and as far as watching golf...well, they never saw a soccer ball so small. :-)
What they do understand, is that he is from their country. Heck, he's from the same town as our bookkeeper (Medellin). What they do know is pride for their country, and how it has risen from being a home with a sordid past, to a home of national heroes Ingrid Betancourt and Camilo Villegas.
My co-workers were asking me "it was a big tournament he won, no?" I gave them an enthusiastic "yes!" even though purely from the FedEx cup perspective, it really didn't mean much. It was just another Tiger-less tournament.
But looking into the eyes of my co-workers when they asked me that question, fueled a patriotic sense that made me realize that it wasn't just a golf tournament they cared about...
...it was a country.
Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,