REFLECTION ON WALLS
I lit a candle at the alter of the Church of Reconciliation in Berlin last summer, 2012. We were there on holiday for gallery hopping. I light a candle when I am overcome by a profound emotion which no word can adequately express . The chapel was built with crushed stones from the millennium old original church building which was blown up in 1985 by the Communist East Germany, because it was located by the wall. Many people died trying to climb over it seeking freedom. The Wall came down in 1989 when Communism itself fell.
I could not help but think of a few other walls in history. The Great Wall of China, Roman Walls that dot England, the Sea Wall in Hakata in Kyushu, Japan built against Mongol invasion, the Wall in Israel and Palestine, and the Sea Wall outside of the Fukshima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power station against Tsunami. Did they effectively stop the menace they meant to stop? It is debatable. Isn’t it.
The guide book says: The Great Wall of China never stopped Mongoianl invasion. In stead, it acted as an useful East-West highway. I don’t know what role the Romans walls played in England, but the sea wall in Kyushu was never useful against Kubla Khan’s navy. It was a powerful typhoon that sunk the Mongolian warships. Not the wall that stopped the invasion. The word Kamikaze was invented to describe the event: it means “Wind of God.” The wall in Israel Palestine did not stop the Palestinian terrorists. I lived there at the height of the suicide-bombing spell. It did not stop the bombers. They had other ways to go around it. It was a change in the policy of the Palestinian authority that stopped it. We know what happened to the sea wall of Fukushima Nuclear Power Station. They thought 8 metre was high enough. It wasn’t. 13 metres high Tsuami caused the unprecedented nuclear melt down.
Walls are expensive, but never effective. Good neighborliness is the most effective deterrent against the menace from bad relationship. In case of Fukushima, living in harmony with nature will deter such catastrophe. Then why we keep on building them?