Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Velvet Revolution: Celebrating a Milestone

Today I am celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia - from Munich.  Through CNN, I am re-living the events that put an end to Communism at the heart of Europe.  On the plane on the way over the Atlantic, my German seatmate was surprised when I said how profoundly these events affected me and my life - as an American with no ties to the region and little knowledge of the countries (or even political awareness at that young age).  It has left me asking myself today - why?  Why did it matter so much to me 20 years ago?  And, why does it continue to matter (maybe even more so) to me today?  They are not easy questions to answer.

I think the revolutions of 1989 introduced me to my life.  They made me realize that every-day-people can accomplish things that might seem impossible - and sometimes even are.  They made me understand that things are not always as they appear and that people everywhere have something to teach me.  They also made me want to understand the people, politics, languages, and cultures that I was directly told I would never have an opportunity to know (see "The Wall is Gone"). They made me want to be a part of change - in both big and small ways.  

Maybe all idealistic notions from someone who is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.  Yet for today, I celebrate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your message of wanting to understand the world so as to make it a better place is wonderful for an adult but awe-inspiring as a kid! I too saw the wall a lifetime ago and could not believe what it looked like then and that it is truly gone now! I hope to go back someday, now more than ever! Thank you