With spy exchanges in the news, another piece of the Cold War has entered my life.
I received a remarkable piece of history in the post today.
It is what is known as a ‘piece of the Berlin Wall’.
It came into my possession thanks to a lovely lady, Sally Moran, who was in the audience at my presentation at the staff conference at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton recently.
Sally shared with me her story how she had lived in Berlin at the time when the city was divided by this structure – and was there when it came down. She now has some souvenirs of bits of the wall in her garage in Somerset. Sally told me how, in what was then East Germany, the structure was known as the ‘Anti Fascist Protection Barrier’.
I thought this would be a good prop to use in my talks, to illustrate how different people can interpret the same thing in different ways, particularly this juxtaposition of West and East.
When I opened the parcel a friend of the family, a builder was at our place. I asked him to guess what it was.
He inspected it and said: “It looks like a piece of 421” (A grade of concrete, I was to discover.)
The valuable lesson here for me was, just when you think you may know all dimensions to an issue, there is always another view beyond what you are expecting. That’s what makes the challenge of flexible thinking so interesting.
As Sly Stone once said: “There’s different strokes, for different folks.” And I would add a line: “There’s different walls, with different calls!”