All Posts Tagged ‘Berlin Wall

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This is my age

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Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?

When I was ten I made some calculations and I concluded that I would be too old to enjoy the  21 st Century. I was going to turn the milestone at 40!.  When the moment arrived I found myself with surprise plenty of strength to face the new Century. By the way, wasn’t so terrible the change, was it? At the end, one day after another, and the life going on like before.

So I’m a citizen of two Centuries. I lived through the Cold War to the fall of the Berlin Wall during the last Century. Then, just at the beginning of this one,  9-11 happened, and our lives changed again. A new kind of war entered the history.

I began my professional career as a journalist with typewriters, pen and paper, and type recorders and now I’m working with computers, tablets and smartphones connected 24/7 if I want. Maybe someone is watching in behalf of National Security, thanks to the new communication technologies (or a hacker is watching with who knows what purposes, by the way). But these same technologies make me able to connect with all of you and so many other people, something I enjoy every day.

We have seen amazing scientific and technical advances, as well as horrendous plagues and disasters in our world.

The poor remain poor, some of the rich are richest.

We are in times of changes with all the unrests around the world, some trying to topple tyrannies, some asking for social justice, some fighting fundamentalism.

But new kind of wars, moments of changes, revolutions had happened before. Is part of the history of the humanity.

This is why I would not go to another moment in human history. This is my age. There are a lot of good things in this world. Above all there are a lot of good people. I have to do whatever is in my hands to make this world better now and here, beginning with what is around me.

Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen.

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The Wall

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English: On the road to Bethlehem, a very symb...

On the road to Bethlehem, a very symbolic tag on the wall made on the Palestinian side (“I am a Berliner”) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Wall. It was April 1968. I was nine years old. The Wall was seven. I just arrived to Berlin with my parents. I was deeply impressed with what I saw. Houses with doors and windows walled in, telling the story of families that lived there and they had to fly suddenly or stay and get trapped in the communist part of the city. High concrete walls dark and sad and in some point a few flowers marking the place where somebody trying to escape had died. It was raining.

It was before the wall covered the whole border, because I remember the Brandemburg gate without it, but plenty of “Achtung” “Danger” and “Stop” signs, iron and barbed wire made fences and a lot of soldiers. It was also before the graffiti that later covered the Wall.

The “L” of Liberty. I was thirty when the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989. Already a journalist I followed the news from my city in Spain. All was hope then. The people toppled the ominous Wall. Two years after that, from Berlin came to my city a gift. A piece of the Wall with graffiti and all, shaped as an “L”. The L of Liberty. What was a symbol of oppression became a symbol of liberty that now is in a park.

Bethlehem. It is 2013 I’m already 53 years old and I didn’t fulfill one of my dreams, visit Bethlehem, the town when Jesus my Lord was born. I hope I’ll do it soon. Now on the road to Bethlehem there is another Wall. Again concrete, barbed wire and graffiti. They told me that near the city there is a graffiti stating ”Ich bin ein Berliner” the words president Kennedy said when he visited Berlin. This time the Wall is not to prevent the people from the other side to fly from the communists to the occidental side, but to prevent the Palestinians to go from the West Bank to Israel or areas controlled by Israelis without being checked many times. Anyway, another Wall as many others we humans build up between us to separate us from each other.

I would like to see in my life time this Wall falling down as the one in Berlin. That would mean peace in the Middle East, something so far away, so complicated and so much-needed now.