Today is German Unification Day. While in the grand scheme of holidays it seems insignificant. It’s a national celebration in a small country far away from the United States. But if we look at what happened it may not appear so insignificant anymore.
I don’t want to give a big history lesson but a little flashback is needed to understand what it means. After Germany had lost the second world war, the Allies, the UK, France, the US and the Soviet Union, divided Germany into four sections, basically each country getting its part of Germany. The UK, France and the US had their sections join together, forming the BRD, a democratic and capitalistic orientated country. The Soviet Union however were dominated by communist values and formed a communist country called GDR. Basically Germany was the visual portrait of the Cold War. The divide in values was so significant that the GDR at some point felt they needed to protect its country from the BRD and build a wall. This wall divided a nation and a city for almost 30 years. It divided families, it divided people who care about each other. A huge factor in it coming down was the people fighting for it. The wall came down in 1989, the country was reunited in 1990 and the Cold War was over.
You can imagine what the wall coming down meant for Germany and its people but also the world considering the reunification for Germany meant an end for the Cold War. It signifies the power of people. It signifies that we as people need to come together to fight for what we believe in. But most of all it shows that we are only strong together, that division does nothing good.
Fast forward 30 years and the world is even more divided than it was when it had an actual wall dividing it.
So I made a pact with myself and I dare you to make that pact with yourself. The next time you see or hear things that divide you from your family member, your neighbor, your colleague or the stranger on the street, start a conversation about the things that you feel divide you rather than judging these differences. You will find that you have far more in common than divide you. And I hope that it reminds you that we are all human, we all feel pain and we all really just want to be happy and safe.