As a writer, I think about what words I want to put out into the world every day. My hope is to write something that will make the reader feel uplifted or inspired or think about what I’ve written. When I first started writing this blog seven years ago, I thought I should steer away from discussions of politics and religion, those two polarizing, divisive subjects often advised not to be discussed at parties and social gatherings. But then came the 2016 election which unleashed long buried resentments. And then a global pandemic hit. Followed by a never ending growing list of black people killed by police. And then the 2020 election.
And I could not stay silent.
I became a very vocal voice on social media. I believed we needed every voice to be an agent for change to oust a disastrous administration but we all know how that went. The administration was indeed ousted but the Big Lie persists as does the divisiveness and anger and hate. And now a major global power is waging war on a peaceful country geographically located next to it.
Despite the lies this global power is spouting to justify its aggression, the true reason appears to be this peaceful country’s democratic unity and prosperity. It’s threatening to the autocratic leader. Yet, this global power has clearly underestimated the valiant, brave spirit of the people they are attempting to suppress and who are using every resource available to them to fight off the invasion.
Everyday people who want the same as we all do. To live in peace, raise a family, enjoy music and good food, travel, play with their children, love their partners. These everyday, non-military trained people are taking up weapons and fighting for their lives.
It is a relief to witness the global solidarity denouncing this aggression but words cannot stop bullets. Sanctions are not stopping the bombs. What to do? Does every country send troops to fight? What happens when the aggressor gets desperate?
As I write this …
…over a million people have taken their children and families and run for safer borders even as husbands, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters and mothers stay behind to take up arms.
For the past two years in this country we have heard the rallying cry to fight for freedom from vaccine and mask mandates. The hypocrisy behind the adage “my body, my choice” as other freedoms are suppressed. I hope these people are realizing what it truly means to fight for freedom as they watch this invasion and resistance in real time.
It’s easy to feel helpless. A million voices plus a million more is inspiring and should not be silenced. But is it enough? Is it ever enough?
I am well aware of my privilege in my outrage. Yes, I am feeling the pinch of rising gas and food prices but I have never had to rally my children in the dead of night, frantically gathering what supplies I deemed important, to stand for hours in a crowded train station, afraid, anxious to escape or to hunker down in a subway station turned bomb shelter.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
The words of Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who wrote of his harrowing experience in the autobiography Night replays in my brain.
Who will stand for my children, and my children’s children, if I do not? Only I can answer this call.
The global support for Ukraine and their struggle has been unprecedented and moving. One of the symbols of their resistance is the sunflower, their national flower. How beautiful and fitting that their symbol of peace and freedom is a flower that grows tall and strong, its face turned towards the sun, its petals representing the many rays.
“Give peace a chance” John Lennon
“Won’t you help to sing; these songs of freedom?” Bob Marley
” ‘Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a Peace Train” Cat Stevens
“War is not the answer” Marvin Gaye
Words of artists have resonated through time and circumstance. Sadly, we have been in this place many times before. I only hope my words will resonate as well.
Resources to help the people of Ukraine:
World Central Kitchen – https://wck.org/
Save the Children – https://www.savethechildren.org/us/where-we-work/ukraine
Doctors without Borders – https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/countries/ukraine
International Fund of Animal Welfare – https://www.ifaw.org/
Coffee is community!
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