I recently was lucky enough to bear witness to what is likely to win a number of awards at this year’s Oscars — The King’s Speech. While the writers of the film did their best to maintain historical accuracy, of course, some dramatic liberties were taken. Nonetheless, I thought it was a rather smart movie and really allowed the audience to peer behind the curtains of what it was like for King George VI in the earlier part of the 1900s.
One of the things that surprised me in the film was when one of the character’s pointed out that if England were to go to war with Germany, it would mark the second world war that some of the citizens of the country would have witnessed. I can’t imagine being alive at a time such that I would have been able to see not just one world war, but two! Regardless, it reminded me that the state of our world is still not quite where I’d like it to be — peacefully — that is.
I suppose that with each passing day, something is learned, or at least I hope that’s the case. Why else would we be seeing the reform that we are seeing in Egypt and Tunisia? And now, countries like Bahrain and Libya are seeing what happened in nearby countries and want to stand up and be heard. I think it’s great that we are living in a time where the actions of one group in one country can affect the actions of another group in another country — instantaneously!
Without the internet and the speed at which news can travel in our modern time, I doubt that Egypt (or even Tunisia?) has the success that it did in the peaceful demonstrations. The miracle that is the internet is allowing Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory to succeed without literal “close contact” and instead, it is close contact through social media. Things are happening really fast nowadays, wouldn’t you say?
It was only just about a month ago that the riots started happening in Tunisia. Since then, we’ve already had reform in Tunisia and an uprising and reform in Egypt. As mentioned earlier, now countries like Bahrain and Libya seem to be joining the fray as candidates for reform (although the governments of these countries, Bahrain and Libya, might not go down without a fight).
So adults living at the time of King George VI got to say, although probably not felt as a privilege, that they witnessed their country enter into two world wars. Adults living today get to say that they’ve been able to watch the fall of two governments in just under a month with the prospect of others to follow. The year 2011 is still quite green… I wonder what else oh-eleven will bring us.