First and foremost, my heart, thoughts, and hope go out to all my friends who are involved in, or have loved ones, who are impacted by the terrible events happening in this evolving country. And that includes all of us who are left watching this tragic addition to our history that is unfolding in our world, especially in a time when these events should be below us. I can’t tell you how sad it hurts my heart to see people dealing with such a travesty when we really do have better things to focus on.
When I was in high school, I started learning the Russian language. I could have taken French, or Spanish, but instead it was Russian that sounded so much more interesting. This was back in the day when the cold war was just a very sour memory. Russian, USSR at the time, sounded so old, so incredibly steeped in history, and I being from Polish decent, it was like researching a bit of my own past. I think I took two years of study, and though it was an older dialect of the language (taught by our Principal Mr. Otto, who decoded messages during World War II), I learned to fall in love with Slavic dialog. Far more than I did with my own language, English.
Today, I can barely remember any of what I learned. I had no one to keep practicing with, so it slowly drifted from my memory.
I’ve always looked to Russia as unique. A people who have a vast nation to dwell in, and some of the harshest areas to live a life. Their history is far from picturesque. They had royalty, but it was filled with tyranny and lust. Murder darkens their past from various directions and terrible crimes that over shadow some of the worst in history. But their people, they keep moving forward. The country has been through revolutions, probably more times than any country, and they’ve had to endure some of the worst leaders in history.
We now watch Russia’s current leadership lay siege to their neighbor. Another country that has evolved, changed, and adapted right alongside Russia for probably as many years. As I was researching some of the history of Ukraine, they have just as colorful past as Russia. It is as long and sorted as any European nation. I quickly became so lost reading about past events, without growing up there, I can’t tell how their involvement has shifted with Russia over the centuries. Maybe even longer. I’ll be honest … I am left with my mouth open in shock at how these two countries can be at war. It’s like watching your older brother pummel your younger brother simply because they are brothers.
I honestly don’t get it. And from what leaks out of Russia, I don’t think Russia’s people get it either. Heck, many nearer that edge of the Russian border have family in Ukraine. The melding of lives between the two countries is like Canada and the USA, or maybe USA and Mexico? These lives are all so intertwined, how can Russia even fathom the idea of what they are doing. Isn’t that like kicking your own self?
But, as I write this, my statement above seems scarily reminiscent to what is/was happening over here, “maybe USA to Mexico?” Is this what happens when a leader who has to much power, to many cronies whispering in their ear, to much desire for wealth, to many loose marbles rolling around? Our former idiot of a President in the US started building a wall with our neighbor Mexico. A country that has been right alongside us for as far back as both have existed. Borders have shifted and moved, but today, we are friends and share our ancestry with many from both sides.
Is this war simply over how scared a big, somewhat unwieldy, country’s leader is running from the smaller, more adventures and evolving country right next door? Despite what the people in the bigger country want, a smaller but loud subset of people, are pushing these leaders who aren’t able to deal with peer pressure, to basically act out like a small child who just wants to look good in the eyes of their ‘friends’?
I hope that those in Ukraine, those dealing with this barbaric tragedy, can find a light to look towards. I truly hope that this episode in our history ends quickly and all of us can go back to living our lives, dealing with issues that really need dealt with, and not the temper tantrums from leaders who probably shouldn’t be leading in the first place.