What we can learn from the war in Ukraine

Madeline Bruce, Editor-in-Chief

On Feb. 23, I ordered an ID tag keychain from Etsy.

In November, I ordered the same ID tag for my roommate for her birthday, and I loved it so much that I wanted to order myself one, as well. So, once I had the money to do so, I did. On Wednesday, I noticed I hadn’t received it yet, nor had I gotten notice that it shipped. I checked to see what was going on, and I had a message from the seller.

As soon as I read the message, my heart sank. The seller told me that her country, Ukraine, was invaded the day after I ordered my ID tag. She made my order, but due to the war, she was unable to ship it.

The war in Ukraine has weighed heavy on my mind since it started, but receiving this woman’s message and knowing my order was the last one she made before the attack on her country is difficult for my brain to process.

The ultimate question that weighs heavy on my mind is simply, “Why?” Why are people so power-hungry that they have to destroy a culture, a way of life and the lives of people just to gain more?

Why can’t we learn from history and stop making the same mistakes repeatedly, causing humanitarian crisis after humanitarian crisis?

We’re supposed to learn from history and from the terrible events that happened in the past, but as I am witnessing the grisly face of humanity show itself once again, I realize that many people, especially those in power, refuse to learn.

There is so much to learn from what the world has been through just in the last two years, let alone in my short, 22-year lifespan. I think that it is especially important to focus on what we can learn from the war in Ukraine.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed the kindness that can come out of humanity in a time of need. People are donating to causes, stepping up to fight with Ukrainian soldiers and showing solidarity with those in Ukraine.

People who are still in Ukraine are helping each other.

I read a story by the BBC Tuesday morning about a young woman, younger than me, who gave birth in her apartment as her hometown was bombed.

She had no electricity, running water or medical care.

Although no one had experience delivering a baby, her neighbors rushed to help and successfully delivered the child.

One thing is certain, and that is that kindness will prevail in the darkest of times.

I saw this firsthand at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as the pandemic wore on and people grew tired of it, that kindness dwindled and turned to selfishness, irritability and rage toward one another. I pray that’s not what happens with Ukraine.

Don’t stop reading about Ukraine, don’t stop supporting Ukrainains and don’t let it fade into the background once people grow tired of hearing about it.

Those who are experiencing it do not have the luxury of growing tired of it and pushing it away from their thoughts.

If we are to learn anything from events like these that we bear witness to or experience, it’s that we cannot let them fade into nothingness, nor can we become desensitized to them.

It is then that the same mistakes are continually made and the lives of people are ravaged by those who hunger for power.

So, what can you do?

Educate yourself on the history of the conflict in Ukraine, as well as what is happening there now here.

Visit this crowdsourced information platform that made a comprehensive list of places to donate to as a foreigner, ways to help Ukrainians and ways to spread the word.

Lastly, consider purchasing a postcard from the woman I mentioned at the beginning of this article, as well as others who are doing similar things to make money on Etsy. You can visit her page here.


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