The Berlin Wall, known in the Soviet Union and in the German Democratic Republic as the “Anti-Fascist Protective Rampart,” was a separation barrier between West Berlin and East Germany (the German Democratic Republic), which closed the border between East and West Berlin for 28 years. Construction on the wall began on August 13, 1961, and it was dismantled in the weeks following November 9, 1989. The Berlin Wall was the most prominent part of the inner German border and an iconic symbol of the Cold War.
Conceived by the East German administration of Walter Ulbricht and approved by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, it was built during the post-World War II period of divided Germany, in an effort to stop the drain of labour and economic output associated with the daily migration of huge numbers of professionals and skilled workers from East to West Berlin, and the attendant defections, which hurt the Communist bloc economically and politically.
The Wall was successful at decreasing emigration (escapes – “Republikflucht” in German) from 2.5 million between 1949 and 1962 to 5,000 between 1962 and 1989. However, it was a propaganda disaster for East Germany and the Communist bloc. It became a key symbol of what Western powers regarded as Communist tyranny, particularly after the high-profile shootings of would-be defectors.
Political liberalization in the late 1980s, associated with the decline of the Soviet Union, led East Germany to relax border restrictions, culminating in mass demonstrations and the fall of the East German government.
On November 9, 1989, the government announced that crossing of the border would be permitted. Masses of East Germans approached and then crossed the wall, and were joined by crowds of West Germans in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks parts of the wall were chipped away by a euphoric public and by souvenir hunters; it was later removed using industrial equipment.
How can we daily chip away at and break down walls in a post 9/11 era?
1. Refuse to be gripped and governed by fear.
Fear is self-centered revolving around self-preservation. Fear has torment and is paralyzing. Fear is interest paid in advance on something you most likely will never own. It has been said ninety percent of our fears never occur. Therefore the only thing to fear is fear itself. Be bold, courageous, and fearless!
2. Believe the best about people, until they prove otherwise.
People should be innocent until proven guilty. Seek to prove people worthy, rather than looking for guilt. There is good in all of us that needs to be affirmed and recognized. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Before you entertain and listen to the bad about a person, ask to hear about the good.
3. Love and accept people unconditionally.
The Creator and universe loves and accepts us unconditionally as human beings. Do likewise. Create a culture of love and acceptance. As you do a community to which others want to belong will be created. Give people hope to belong, believe, and become.
4. Be hopeful and expect the best from people.
When you show a positive expectation toward people, you cause them to want to live up to your expectations. It is the force of faith in operation pulling people higher. Speak to and address people’s potential. Enlarge their vision and horizon paving the way for them to step into it.
5. Don’t be paralyzed by presumption and erroneous predispositions.
Beware of propaganda. Don’t believe everything the media and people tell you. Most often they are misinformed or only partially telling the entire story. Do your homework before wholly embracing something as gospel truth.
6. Investigate and seek the truth.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Not everything you hear is worth listening to. Truth must be tested and examined over time. Lies last but for a moment. The truth however is timeless and always does endure. Hold to the truth and don’t sell out to compromise.
7. Celebrate and honor all peoples.
As you live and let live, you shall liberate people. Celebrating and honoring people is the first way we bond with them. Before we can together build, we must first bond. Let the bonds of brotherhood grow, increase, and be strengthened.
8. Forgive and live.
We all make mistakes. Give people another chance. We as individuals and nations learn over time. For some it takes more time than for others to catch on. As we forgive, we free ourselves from carrying hostility and hate within our hearts. When we forgive we live and allow others to do the same.
9. Be patient, peaceful, and progressive.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It is progressive and ongoing. Strive to be patient with people and nations as we all evolve. People make changes in an atmosphere of love. Russia’s Gorbachev brought down the wall because of President Reagan’s charm and heartfelt appeal. Reagan never threatened Gorbachev with war if he didn’t obey.
Love is patient and kind. Patience and a peaceful disposition often precedes progress. Nobody likes to be pushed. Patience tenderly and purposefully pulls people by their heart strings forward progressively.
10. Let dialogue and diplomacy replace hostility.
National dictators often just want to be recognized on the global scene and acknowledged. By welcoming everyone to the table to talk, we can diffuse much hostility and build bridges internationally. Nobody every died during a discussion. Dialogue and diplomacy enables us to go deeper to the real root issue motivating a person.
Let us all continue to break down walls between us so we can be a global community interconnected with heartfelt understanding and compassion.
Paul F Davis – author of United States of Arrogance
Paul Davis is a worldwide minister, peacemaker, change master, mediator, and life purpose coach (relational & professional).
Paul is the author of several books including Breakthrough for a Broken Heart; Adultery: 101 Reasons Not to Cheat; Are You Ready for True Love; Stop Lusting & Start Living; Waves of God; Supernatural Fire; Poems that Propel the Planet; and God vs. Religion.
Paul’s compassion for people & passion to travel has taken him to over 50 countries of the world where he has had a tremendous impact. Paul has served in many war-torn, impoverished and tsunami stricken regions of the earth. His Dream-Maker Inc. is building dreams, breaking limitations & reconciling nations.
Paul’s Breakthrough Seminars inspire, revive, awaken, impregnate with purpose, impart the fire of desire, catapult people into a new level of self-awareness, facilitate destiny discovery and dream fulfillment.
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