When I was 28, I traveled behind what was then the Iron Curtain with friends. You know the part in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy & Co. enter Oz, and the movie changes from black-and-white to color? Well, crossing the border between West and East Germany was exactly like that, only backward. Everything became gray and colorless, and it seemed like we went back in time about 40 years.
We stayed with several families there–people that my friends had met through their church. Sitting at their kitchen tables behind the Iron Curtain enabled me to confirm that Sting was right. The Russians (or in this case, the East Germans) really did love their children, too. They experienced joy, grief, and fear just like I did. And a Berlin Wall in my own heart came tumbling down.
That’s when I realized that our emotions are a universal language. No matter where we live or what language we speak, what we feel is exactly the same. And that makes us One.
Kris Wiltse’s illustration for the “Loving” card from the Mixed Emotions deck.
2 Replies to “A universal language”
Hey there, I just wanted to say that I had the exact same thought going from the west to east in Germany, especially when the border was still there. It really did go to monochrome. It was like someone snuffed out all the color – you know how west german windows all have colorful geraniums, pansies, petunias – yet it seemed someone took out the flowers, painted the sky gray, the fields were brown. It was striking. Yet when I visited relatives, we still had a great time. Funny that you mentioned exactly what I thought years ago.
Well written article.