Friday, 13 November 2009

The world as we know it

Sometimes we really don’t realise what an amazing period of history we are living in. Okay, maybe all times in history are amazing, but still we just don’t realise some of the extraordinary stuff going on around us until hindsight kicks in. We sometimes look at history as if it’s some alien, distant world where things were so incredibly different. But with this week’s anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, it gives us a chance to realise what an amazing 20 years it’s been. History is always in the making and the next 20 years are probably going to look incredible when people look back on it. But it feels like a distant world 20 years ago when the Iron Curtain was cloaked across a large swathe of Europe, when Nelson Mandela was still in prison and Apartheid still had some ‘validity’, when the IRA continued to bomb mainland Britain, when it wasn't the done thing to travel to or from China, the Soviet Union, Hungary, East Germany etc etc.

In an era when everyone is jetting off for stags in Latvia, driving holidays around Germany, visits to the Beijing Olympics, and all creeds and colours holidaying in Cape Town, it’s amazing how different things were not so long ago – how we almost accepted that that was the way the world was. Thank heavens good men and women round the world asked enough questions about the status quo.

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