Reflections At The East Side Gallery, Berlin: Conquering Hate

Europe, Germany

Thriller, ET, Fame and the birth of the first CD player. It was 1982 and big hair and spandex was all the rage, no thanks to Olivia Newton John’s ubiquitous hit ‘Physical’. I was born during times of peace, and war was a distant memory from a decade long forgotten.

Blessed with a somewhat peaceful, almost idyllic childhood, I never knew the horrors of war, nor the pain and suffering it inflicted. Peace and the comfort and luxury that come with it were served on a silver platter.

Standing here at the ruins of the Berlin Wall, I still find it hard to believe that two groups of people, from basically the same bloodline, could build a dividing wall that tore families and friends from each other. Yes, the wall was torn down in 1989, or seven years after my birth, but it should never have been built in the first place.

The root cause, I guess, is hate. On its own, hate is such a simple concept. But when you start feeling it towards someone, and you start acting on it, you build a wall. Each action you take is a brick that solidifies and strengthens this wall and the gap between you widens until it is no longer impossible to see each other eye to eye.

The graffiti on these walls were drawn with messages of love, forgiveness, and camaraderie and it gives me hope about a better tomorrow. We all have the capacity to hate. But we also have the capacity to love and look beyond each others faults and try to arrive in a peaceful understanding or resolution.

Let this wall serve as a reminder of the horrors of war and a reminder of what we lose, when we lose the capacity to love.


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