We Are All Interconnected: On Ukraine

Recently, I’ve been wrestling with myself each time I look at the document on my computer that has all of my in-progress blog posts, scrolling between them to see which one I want to finish and publish. Nothing seems right in the moment.

The snarky remarks, the backhanded compliments about living in Victoria, none of that does justice to what is going on in the world which is so much bigger right now.

I don’t have any family in the Ukraine. I have no ties to the country, and yet, there is a stirring in my heart whenever I think about this tragedy. Life in Victoria feels so different and far removed from eastern Europe and yet, at the thought of a country three flights away, emotions run high and raw.

The CANADA sign in Victoria’s Inner Harbour lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag. The colours remind me of the sun breaking through the sky at dawn, a symbol of strength and optimism.

We speak of it in hushed voices and leave room for silences. In an attempt to become more informed, we take in more information and learn more perspectives, and we become cynics, believing that good and peace no longer exist.

We are angry, we are tired, we are frustrated and disappointed.

I feel like because I don’t have any family in Ukraine, I really shouldn’t be speaking up about the reality in Europe right now.

For those who are in the eye of the storm, lives are at risk daily. People are being displaced from their homes and being forced to take refuge in other countries, while others are willing to lay down their life for the country they love the most.

I understand that I will never understand the pain and the hurt that this war causes and will cause personally, but being so emotional about this reminds me that we are all interconnected.

We are all united with a human experience, both in celebrations and in hurt. That’s what gives all of us the ability to be sad and to grieve this time in the Ukraine, no matter where we are or who we know.

The world is watching.

As part of our warm-up on Tuesday for University Chorus, we sang Ukraine’s most popular folk song, “Prayer for Ukraine”. It is as recognizable in the country as their national anthem, and is a prayer for protection and prosperity for its people.

It’s in Ukrainian, so even though I didn’t understand it, the melody spoke to my heart of the strength of the Ukrainian people and the everlasting optimism they have for the future.

Bless us with freedom, bless us with wisdom

Bless us with a kind world

Bless us, oh Lord, with good fortune

For ever and evermore.

 

For students who are personally affected by this crisis, a list of resources compiled by the University can be found here.

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