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If I switch on the news I am filled with anxiety.
If I switch off the news I am plagued with guilt. Guilt that I can so easily switch off from the current horrors of the world with the simple switch of a button. But this is not the case for the people in Ukraine right now.
I see images of women and children fleeing their homeland, having to leave their husbands behind, uncertain of whether they will ever see them again. I see videos of hundreds of Ukrainians huddled in underground shelters, with looks of worry on their faces, worry that they may not even be alive the next morning. I read reports of a woman giving birth to a baby in a subway station in Kyiv whilst shielding from Russian bombardments.
I hear threats of nuclear war from a man in power who is not afraid to do whatever is needed to get what he wants. Is he sane or insane? I don’t know…but honestly…does it matter? Because which option is worse? The fact that he is insane and doesn’t realise the damage he is causing. Or the fact that he is sane and doesn’t care about the damage he is causing. There are bus drivers, teachers, mothers holding weapons for the first time in their lives—trying to protect themselves from the Russian army.
I always try to look for the light. But with all the recent events in the world, I am losing even more hope in figures of authority. (How do these people even get into power?) I am losing hope in humanity. I am losing hope in hope. As the Black Eyed Peas once sang: “Where is the love?” Really, where is it?
Nothing good comes out of war—ever. But my heart is filled with love for all the people who are sending help to Ukraine, in whatever form that may be. Let us keep helping in whatever form we can.
I can’t put into words the despair the majority of the world is feeling right now, but maybe these quotes can do it for me:
1. “Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.” ~ Herbert Hoover.
2. “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.” ~ Ernest Hemingway.
3. “When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre
4. “War is what happens when language fails.” ~ Margaret Atwood
5. “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” ~ George Santayana
6. “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
7. “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
8. “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” ~ Howard Zinn
9. “More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.” ~ Franklin Roosevelt
10. “This is the nature of war: it turns us into enemies. People who have never met kill each other out of fear.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
11. “You don’t liberate a country standing on the soil of another.” ~ Fadia Faqir
12. “Peace is the virtue of civilization. War is its crime.” ~ Victor Hugo.
13. “People do not make wars; governments do.” ~ Ronald Reagan.
14. “War: first, one hopes to win; then one expects the enemy to lose; then, one is satisfied that he too is suffering; in the end, one is surprised that everyone has lost.” ~ Karl Kraus
15. “The war does not end when you come home. It lives on in memories of your fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who gave their lives. It endures in the wound that is slow to heal, the disability that isn’t going away, the dream that wakes you at night, or the stiffening in your spine when a car backfires down the street.” ~ Barack Obama
Another perspective about the ongoing conflict: The Danger & Trauma of Conspiracy Theory Rhetoric about the Ukrainian Conflict.