Some of what happened leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made me think of the 1930s when Hitler began his incursions into Poland.
Then, Europeans and the US took the position of appeasement. They were too afraid to tackle Hitler in the beginning stages of his march, fearing their actions would lead to WWII and hoping he’d stop on his own. In fact, I think their inactions emboldened Hitler to continue gobbling up countries. Bullies don’t stop on their own.
In our current situation, I’ve been heartened to see the majority of the western nations coming together to punish Putin. Do I wish they’d acted before Putin had invaded? Absolutely. Their strong sanctions beforehand might have deterred him from invading Ukraine and saved lives, Ukrainians and Russians.
But fortunately, even Switzerland, which I believe has never taken a stand on an international issue, preferring to remain neutral, has stepped up. In the face of evil, you cannot remain neutral.
The bravery of the Ukrainian people is inspirational. They are the David against the Goliath of Russia. Pray God is on the side of Ukraine. That all the sanctions will have such a negative effect on Putin and his oligarchs they will find a reason to leave the sovereign country of Ukraine.
The other place you can find bravery is from the Russian people. The ones who are protesting the war in the streets. Protesting in Russia is terribly dangerous, and over 5000 have been arrested. Russia, the country where Putin has killed and imprisoned those who oppose him.
When you are tempted to complain about some “minor inconvenience” (our power went off early Monday morning twice, my internet connection went blooey, and one of the commodes got stopped up),—well, you know those don’t mean a thing compared to having to leave your country with only a suitcase in hand, dragging along your child holding on to a stuffed animal, while crying for your dad and husband who is staying to fight the oncoming army.
My “problems” pale in comparison, and I’ve thought differently about them since the invasion. I hope I’d be as brave as the people of Ukraine and Russia, but I’m careful about what bumper stickers I put on my car. I’m afraid of the reactions of the people who live near me.
But you know that saying the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good people to remain silent? We cannot afford for any of us to remain silent, not when in Texas & other states, legislators have made it more difficult for folks to vote. Voting is our power. Taking away that power is really wrong—maybe even evil.
I’ve used that word a couple of times. Our Sunday School class has been studying the concept of EVIL, trying to get a handle on what exactly it constitutes. We’ve had agreement on Hitler being evil regardless of his bad childhood. Other people have survived dreadful childhoods and not grown up to slaughter 6 million Jews.
I’m not sure what Putin’s excuse is for the evil he’s doing, but it’s not okay, and we must all stand together against him and anyone here in the US who supports his action.
I chose to give money to Catholic Charities to help the refugees. Here’s the link. Urgent Need in Ukraine | Catholic Relief Services (crs.org)
There are other places to send money to support the Ukrainians and the countries who are providing humanitarian support to all the dislocated families. Red Cross is always good, and this article is interesting: Devastation in Ukraine: How the Red Cross is Helping
Or use whoever organization you’d like. Prayers and money are one thing we all can do. Today, we are all Ukrainians. And we must support democracy wherever it’s under attack, abroad and here in the US.
As always, I’d love to hear from you.
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