Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mr. Gorbachev Tear Down this Wall

A piece of the Berlin Wall from 1989
Just before I was born a wall went up. 

This event had little impact on my life in the 60's as I was pre-occupied with Scooby Doo, Speed Racer, my dog, and learning how to waterski. Life for me in the 60's was really very peaceful. I graduated from high school and entered college during another interesting time in political history known as the cold war.  I was more pre-occupied with big shouldered business suits (ala Working Girl starring Melanie Griffith), big hair, the arrival of MTV and getting through college.

In 1987 Ronald Reagan delivered another one of his amazing speeches:

We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Then an amazing thing happened. Just after the birth of my first darling kiddo this wall came down. Now, when my oldest thinks back on his life, he can say "the Berlin Wall came down the same year I was born". 

25 years later

It has been 25 years since that historic day and alot has changed in the world. We still believe in freedom and security and human liberty but the walls have changed and are not as visible.

Tearing down the wall did not, in itself, secure peace in the world but it was a symbolic step toward peace. Today the actions we take to promote peace are even more important than they were back during the Cold War. Now there is a violence in the world that must stop.

Promoting Peace

Two of my favorite sites that promote peace:

PEACE TAGSPeaceTags™  are “dog- tag” shaped necklaces that raise awareness and funds for Non-Profit organizations working to heal wounded troops, their families, our communities and our world.   PeaceTags promote the idea that we CAN heal the wounds of war AND create a culture of peace.

Chants for Peace - Bringing about peace through Chant - this site features great articles about ways that people are seeking peace.

Breaking down the Walls

Finding our way to peace will take more than just hoping for it. We will have to break down the walls of intolerance, violence, misunderstanding, and hate. 

The difference between now and back in 1987 is that we are now, more than ever, a global neighborhood. It is a cliche to just say that the Internet has brought the world to all of us. But it's true. We are more connected than ever. At one time I naively thought that if people met me they would like me and all we really needed in this world was just a few more citizen diplomats visiting different parts of the world to share a handshake and a smile and we could all join hands and sing kumbaya. But then I learned that there are places in the world where women are not allowed to shake hands and singing in public is illegal. 

We must keep working toward world peace. We must. But some times that means breaking down a wall.



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