Saturday 9 November 2019
Today marks the 30 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. What an iconic event it was; the lasting symbol of a wave of revolutions that swept the Eastern Bloc in Europe at the end of the 1980s, whilst in China, by contrast, the popular demonstrations demanding greater political freedom were crushed by the authorities in Tiannamen Square. And all of this happened in my lifetime. Thirty years, gosh these were such moments of living history, that I still can remember where I was. I heard about the events in China in a Youth Hostel in Singapore, backpacking across SE Asia. (Here are some of the (many) pics!) By the time the Berlin Wall fell, I was back at University, watching the incredible images on the TV, feeling stunned, scared and inspired by the power of people to change the world.
And I’ve been privileged to walk this earth at the same time as other hugely significant people too. I also remember where I was the day Barack Obama was elected and the day the first TV pictures appeared of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Unthinkable drive and determination, resilience and resolve to fight on and make this world a better and fairer place. It is awe-inspiring.
When I was a teenager, trekking and travelling and exploring new places, life felt fantastic; exciting and full of promise. Faced the challenges of growing up, shouldering responsibility and the daily grind of working life, I have sometimes felt a little lost however. So it’s good to pause and be more outward looking. Because today, the remarkable people in this world and the momentous events I’ve witnessed, make this seem like a wonderful and precious place to be. I cannot wait to see what the next few decades bring … and to play a part in it…