Smiling Because it Feels Good

Some of you may already have seen this. During the women’s gymnastics competition of the Rio Olympics, a North Korean athlete and a South Korean athlete came together for one split second and took a selfie.


    Reports of the image racing around the world, capturing the attention of media were of course instant, and it was, if nothing else, a conversation-starter.

    The two sister nations have been politically at odds since the end of the Korean War (1950 – 1953) and many families and friends have been unable to reunite since. It’s like a wall of silence at the 38th Parallel, a perennial smoke screen through which neither side can see.

    Yet here, in this footage, a small window of time is captured in which girls of both nations met (somewhere in an arena with a foreign name far away from their respective homes) in front of a camera, hugged, and smiled.

    “I see you,” one sister seemed to say to the other.

    “I see you,” the other responds.

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.

~ Edgar Allan Poe


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