Twenty Five years ago I was pregnant with my sixth pregnancy and what delightfully turned out to be my first child. I can remember vividly the feeling of excitement and looking towards the future.
This had been building all year, starting in Poland with the Solidarity movement, the internet and the World Wide Web, the Soviets left Afghanistan, the move to ban CFC’s, the demonstrations in the East to move away from Soviet rule and Hungary removing its border restrictions with Austria and then F.W. de Klerk being voted into office in South Africa and the beginning of the end of Apartheid.
Same sex civil unions became legal in Denmark – a world first, the Guildford 4 are released, in East Germany refugees make their way to West Germany via Czechoslovakia and a movement builds. Eventually, the hated Berlin Wall is torn down, and I can remember watching this on television and weeping. The world I was going to bring my child into was moving forwards, it seemed so hopeful.
Of course it wasn’t all good, the Exxon Valdez, the poll tax riots, Tianmen Square, the Marchioness pleasure boat disaster on the Thames, other natural and man made disasters dotted the year. Terrorism and war ravaged many countries and I felt the helplessness of many mothers.
On the day that my son was born the Romanian Revolution began and I felt once again a spirit of optimism.
Sadly, the world seems to have lost this momentum. Refugees from war torn countries stream steadily into what they perceive to be a safer place. It may be safe from bombs and armies, but sadly our society does not seem to be that safe any more. Much has happened, the financial crash, job losses, natural disasters and man made still occur, along with political hand wringing and nothing concrete done.
I would love to be able to say in 25 years time that this year was a turning point like 1989 was. I don’t think it will be. Do you?