March 1st, 2022
I don’t know enough about international affairs, history, and geopolitics to write about Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. My problem is that I can’t think about anything else right now. I do have a certain amount of education in morals and ethics that makes me feel qualified to speak of the atrocities and the pain being inflicted on people.
What do you do when a neighboring nation is ruled by a bullying leader who seems bent on dominating at least the countries around it, perhaps Europe, and maybe the world? How do you deal with the blatant lies coming from Putin? How do we deal with the frustration of having friends and family support the tyrant against the interests of our own country? What do you do with the pain caused by people we love who are showing callous indifference to the suffering being inflicted on other human beings? Where is the voice of those who would speak truth to power regardless of the political damage to their own careers? When did religion begin to side with Goliath over little David? How do we cope with the change in definition of patriotism from speaking out for justice and equity to backing a despot who obliquely threatens nuclear war?
Perhaps my best approach to writing about this trending topic in spite of the paradox I have described is to dedicate this space to the feelings of outrage, anger and grief that are shared by people of goodwill all over the world.
Saying these things much better than I, Elizabeth Lessor writes on Facebook,
[I am] overwhelmed with anger and grief tonight about Ukraine and the suffering of the people there. When I don’t know what else to do, I write. This isn't a how-to poem. I don't claim to know our way through. It's a hope, and a grief, a befuddlement, a call, a prayer.
Didn’t the strongmen get the message
That war is a lack of imagination
With a terrible track record?
That it only prolongs the deeper issues
That will emerge again and again and again?
That violence proves nothing except the perpetrator’s
Pathetic self-esteem, gross ego, and shriveled heart?
And that there is another way to live together
And to work out our differences, our needs, our conflicts?
The great conundrum is that the more a person evolves
Into the next level of human possibility—
Into heartfulness, kindness, wisdom, and love,
The less one wants to argue, fight and prevail,
Or to control others, blame others,
fear others, hurt others.
But the strongmen sees the evolved ones as weak
And it stokes their hubris and whets their appetite
For aggression and war--things the others find absurd.
But now is not the time to give in or give up.
Now is the time to stand tall and strong for that other way.
Let’s show the strongmen how it’s done.
Wherever you live, whatever your job, your circle, your influence,
Show them how people can move beyond blame and fear,
Beyond cruelty and greed, ignorance and lies.
Please trust your brilliance, your feelings,
your wisdom and depth,
And show them how it’s done.
How are you feeling about world conditions? How will you be present for those small and mighty people who are fighting corrupt, powerful systems that are life-destroying?
Please comment below. No judgment. I sincerely want to know your perspective and where you find hope.