Monday, November 09, 2009

"Wall? What Wall?"

As my wife and I pointedly reminisce about the events of 20 years ago, our children look at us with expressions of dim comprehension. My 12-year-old can no more envision a modern city divided by a wall than I, as a 12-year-old, could envision that wall ever coming down. The temptation is to impart all sorts of "lessons" during this moment, but where does one even begin?

So far the only summary we can muster is, the world is in a constant state of flux, often moving in ways we can't even begin to predict. So many changes are violent and lamentable, but there are also momentous changes that are welcome, and to be celebrated. Here's hoping our children live to see -- and generate -- more of the latter.


paul bowman said...


No children of my own to worry/wonder about, though thoughts turn to my nephews & niece — ages 11 and younger. Reading here makes me hopeful for your kids, at any rate.

Whisky Prajer said...

Well, there won't be any shortage of "walls" for their generation, either, of course. Finding the balance between offering parental assurance and discussing the genuine perils of existence is the tricky part.

paul bowman said...

You haven't reduced the balance between seeking assurance for life and knowing the perils of existence to an easy formula for yourselves, I gather. That seems promising for them.

And following your point, if things in their world start to seem a little nebulous for getting at what they ought to grasp, we do still have a few good old urban-center people barriers around, if not so impressively located. The Israelis find it useful to keep the idea alive, after a fashion. Or here in the U.S. — we've never been serious enough to have a real wall, but in southern California we've got a fence; that's not nothing.

It's not exactly post-war-Europe dread, but I expect it'll serve.