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Inspiration from Berlin

May 25, 2012

By Jeanine Izzo

There are a multitude of ways to learn through the experiences of other people. Although this can be done anytime, anywhere, I find some of my most beneficial learnings or reminders come when I am far from home. This week, I spent some time in Berlin, Germany where I gained extra inspiration and courage.

In 1961 the Berlin Wall was put up during the dark of night to prevent further movement from East to West Berlin. It was 155km (96 miles) long and closely monitored by armed guards. East Berlin was a fearful, expressionless, restricted, gray world where the only likely escape was death or imprisonment. In 1989, the wall was taken down and re-unification of families and the city began. Today, it is a brilliant city balancing remembering where it came from with forgetting.

Initially, the thought and behavior was to remove all reminders of the bleak period, however some were preserved. Now the people are thankful for these relatively small yet very present objects. They represent a memorial to all that was lost and an appreciation for the current situation. The longest remaining stretch of the wall has been covered with art from invited artists from around the world which has made something horrible and ugly have an interesting twist.

In our lives, we may not have something as visible as a literal wall to remind us how far we have come when the times are rough, yet we each have personal landmarks or milestones we can reflect on. It’s not about obliterating them because they have contributed to who we are. It’s about finding a way to use them to propel us forward during times when we could use that extra motivation. Letting these experiences weigh us down keeps us in the past and can immobilize us. Instead, let’s remember that our past does not predict our future. When we take this self empowering leap with our thoughts, chances are we will create some complimentary actions to move us toward our desired direction.

© Viage Partners 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Viage Partners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 26, 2012 4:20 am

    I really like this analogy! Let us remember that this was the only peaceful revolution in the world. While there are many reasons why this revolution stayed peaceful, one reason was that the protestors stayed calm and peaceful and most importantly: persistent over months and months. So instead of trying to hammer and force change within our selves, let us acknowledge the reality we are made up of and slowly and persistently move towards positive change.

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