This month of November 2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of when the Berlin Wall fell…
An auspicious occasion to remember and an opportunity to reflect and ask the question; why do we put up Walls? And why is it important to knock them down and unite with those around us?
When I read about the history of East Berlin, Germany, the Wall is claimed to have been erected to protect its people from fascist elements, views and opinions conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state. With a lack of trust in their neighbours, the concrete Wall was constructed, along with guard towers, anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defences.
What the Wall did, in actual fact, over the 28 years that it stood tall, was only to imprison and serve to control its people, which caused the demise of an economy. Not to mention separate family and friends, cause unnecessary panic and unrest and the death of those trying to cross the border.
It’s been 25 years since the Wall came down, since the East and West have united, but you can still see the effects of what the Wall, of what ultimately control did to the economy of the East. In an aerial shot taken by Commander Hadfield from the international space station, you clearly see the West shines with modern fluorescent white lights, compared to those in the East which basks in a yellow glow, reflecting the old sodium lights. (picture courtesy of the British Telegraph)
On foot, as you walk from the West to the East, you get a further sense of the impact. The West has clearly benefited from the prosperity of the second half of the 20th century and it very much feels like a modern western European city. While in the East, you just have to look at the change in the architecture to know its history. It is filled with square blocks, functional looking buildings that were put up by the communist authorities. A now unified city, however, with no Wall to control its people and the opportunity to collaborate with its neighbours, progress is being made; East Berlin is now one big building site, with unlimited potential and possibility.
As I reflect on my own life and all the times I have put up Walls due to fear of ‘perceived’ differences, or lack of trust in those around me, I recognise how this was my way of trying to control things. Yet now I see how this, in actual fact, has stopped certain things in my life from evolving; from building friendships, to sharing moments or simply experiencing what life has to offer. Basically the Walls constructed in fear, to ultimately get a sense of control, actually stops the flow of life, the flow of connection, the flow of creation.
And as I translate this into how I collaborate with others at work and in the community, I see how putting up Walls and the need to control a situation limits how we work together, the flow of creativity and negatively impacts the progression of new ideas; of co-creating quality solutions; of ultimately turning passion and vision into actions.
You just have to see the before and after pictures of Berlin to know this to be true and to witness the transformation that takes place when we come together, without Walls, and unite….
Like Berlin, it’s time to knock down the Walls, to let go of control and Unite.
Let’s Connect, Collaborate and Co-create a better and brighter future together.
Who’s with me?
(Pictures courtesy of the ABC)
Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson
m: +61 (0)417 107 888| e: firstname.lastname@example.org