February 27, 2022

Everyone is Welcome to Help Ukraine—even Elon Musk.

 

I hate war, but I love seeing people step up for what’s right.

The last days were terrible. We are all in a collective state of shock.

Some of us didn’t expect Putin to go that far, and others had no idea of what was about to happen. It hit us in different ways and intensities.

Let’s not forget about those who are directly affected by this invasion. It’s hard for us to imagine what it means to be under attack. Most of us had the privilege to grow up without war. And almost all of us are struggling to put things into perspective.

But this is also a chance to remind ourselves of what really matters in this world. What are our shared goals as humans, and how can we prevent war and other forms of violence? There are no easy solutions to this, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t try.

Last week, I was proud of our community at Elephant Journal. You can say what you want about our ads, relationship articles, or other imperfections, but this is something nobody can take away from us. We published several mindful takes on the developing situation in Ukraine.

And I also noticed some comments that asked us to stay out of this conversation. Why would we?

If Donald Trump, Ben Shapiro, and other Republican folks who just discovered their passion for old, White men attacking other countries speak up, why would we stay silent?

Our community offers more mindful takes than Hannity, Carlson, and other anchors on Fox News. I feel more compassion in the words of our authors than some experienced news reporters are able to offer. And most importantly, these perspectives are authentic takes from real people like you and me.

Speaking of me, I also wrote an article last week. I was attacked in the comments and asked to sit this one out. “Spare us your hot takes on this,” wrote someone who was upset about my words.

You know what? Dear anonymous keyboard warrior, I see your point.

I totally agree that we should be careful with what we write and share in difficult times like these. Nobody needs a hot take on a historic event unfolding in front of our eyes.

I agree with that, but do you know how much thought and care these authors put into their words? Do you have any idea for how long I was thinking about my article before I actually wrote it? I can only speak for myself, but writing about topics like these takes courage.

I respect every single author who took the risk to share a perspective on this. Which risk? The risk of getting insulted by internet trolls.

Courage is about doing things that don’t necessarily lead to applause. Courage is about taking the risk to get criticized. And it’s not about stating the obvious in the comment section.

Every article we are able to publish on this war helps to create awareness. There are many folks who do not care much about politics, and we are able to reach these folks.

Why would anyone get angry because of that?

And if this war leads folks who we usually disagree with to do the right thing, isn’t that also a good thing?

Elon Musk didn’t find the right words when tweeting on the Canadian Trucker Convoy. Musk often said things that upset many people around the world. I am not here to defend him for his shortcomings, which most of us know.

But, let’s also acknowledge that after Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov reached out to Musk on Twitter, the controversial tech-billionaire immediately helped him out.

After the internet in Ukraine collapsed, Musk stepped in with his satellite-driven project “Starlink.”

When Musk spoke about making the internet available for everyone, many of us didn’t think about a scenario like this one. This is not about nerd stuff with no connection to reality; this is about technology that makes it impossible for dictators to cut people off information.

This doesn’t take away all the other imperfections Musk needs to work on.

I also don’t expect a Pulitzer Prize for my coverage of this war, but we are all trying our best.

We are all trying to come together as peace-loving humans who want this war to end. We are coming together in solidarity. We are not perfect, but we are all trying.

And that gives me some hope for our future.

Please keep writing, keep sharing your voice—and, most importantly, don’t let anyone on the internet silence you. We need you.

 

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Image: Mykhailo Fedorov & Elon Musk/Twitter Screenshot