Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Other Wall

I was reading one of my favorite feeds this morning from Open Culture. The part of the story that caught my attention was the link to an Internet Archive collection of some wonderful private photos and home movies of the Berlin Wall, it's collapse, and the reunification afterward.

When I was growing up we only knew it as "The Wall", and it was as much a part of our lives as was the continual nuclear holocaust stories associated with the "Cold War". After the Berlin Blockade there was a constant U.S. military presence in West Berlin. I remember sitting in front of the television and watching JFK's Ich bin ein Berliner speech with the wall as his backdrop. Then came the fall of "The Wall" in 1989, and during this time I remember reflecting back on what that wall represented. Now once again I find myself reflecting back to a 2003 article from the Members for Democracy community. Another kind of wall separates the people and keeps us from our freedom. I just felt the need to share this, and I feel it has not lost one bit of relevance over the last six years since it was composed. We still have a wall to climb over or tear down, but this one seems to be built much better than the one made of stone, concrete, and barbed wire. This wall has been constructed within our own minds!

A great wall separates us, in our current reality where the powerful pee - figuratively - on us, from the emerging new era with its limitless possibilities. It's not a physical wall, but rather a wall built of our own fears - fears about changing the current reality, fears about looking at conventional wisdom and saying "oh piss on this" and fears about moving forward on our own steam to our own future...

If you're having a hard time picturing this figurative wall of fear, think about this well-known wall. Residents from the oppressed side would come to the wall to look at what was on the other side. Some would even go over the wall at great personal risk. For many years the wall seemed impenetrable. Then it came down pretty much overnight. How'd that happen? What lay on the other side was more desirable and more important than bigger cars, nicer homes and more money: It was Freedom.

Read the entire article of Freedom for our People.


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