It appears that some people in other countries were quite bewildered about the inclusion of a mini tribute to the NHS in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. Gosh! they said, bemused.
In Britain, though, we all went Ahh... Nurses have had a popular place in the nation's heart ever since Florence Nightingale invented the nursing profession during the Crimean War. They represent the caring female principle in our society, that in Catholic cultures is occupied by images of the Madonna and Child. Nightingale's contribution was considered important enough that she graced the obverse side of the £10 note from 1975 to 1992. Generations of women were inspired to enter nursing and become mini-Nightingales. In the hearts of the public they have as much status as doctors.
But the nurses were not the only "caring" theme in the ceremony. When the scene opens on a green and pleasant England, it is accompanied by the voice of a single choirboy. But if you look closely at him, you can see that he is missing his left hand from below the elbow.
Where other cultures may have left him and his parents to struggle, he'd have been cared for by the NHS, and where other more bombastic cultures would have hidden him away regardless of his singing voice, in ours he was allowed to open the show.
The message was that we hope he'll grow up to be a valued member of society - perhaps like Evelyn Glennie, the lady who did the drumming for the "Industrial Revolution" sequence. Evelyn Glennie is a virtuoso percussionist - and she's also deaf. She performs barefoot in order to feel the rhythms of the percussion.
It's very likely none of the audience members even noticed that the choirboy or Ms Glennie were disabled - which is a measure of just how successfully they have been integrated into society.
Later, we saw nine children who are receiving treatment from Great Ormond Street hospital take part in the ceremony (something they'll never forget) in the sequence on children's literature.
So that was one of the messages of the ceremony - that you don't have to be perfect to be part of British society, the way you do elsewhere. The community will nurture you and help you to become a fully integrated and valuable adult. And that's Britain in 2012.