As I write this, the Russian army has advanced into Ukraine. Anyone who watches the news has seen the destruction of Ukrainian cities and people. As terrible as this is, my observations during conflict are very interesting.
As a pacifist, this act of destruction appalls me to my very core. Having lived through too many military actions, I hoped that I would never again see needless aggression towards another person or nation.
But, there is something I have noticed:
Despite the horror of the situation, I’ve noticed something interesting. There are fewer and fewer debates over COVID mandates, fewer anti-Republican or -Democratic posts, and fewer divisive arguments. Our country and the world seem to stop the petty bickering to rallying around Ukraine and its people.
This response reminded me of my father’s first heart attack in the mid-1970s. It was a tough time for my parents as my father had lost his job at Lockheed as the Vietnam war efforts began to wind down. After many years of being a homemaker, my mother went back to work to support my younger siblings. During one of our phone calls, I expressed my concern for her wellbeing. I never forgot what she told me. She said that they were getting along better than ever because they hated the same thing: His troubling heart condition.
Her explanation appalled me at the time. But now, in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I understand what she was telling me.
Maybe the situation in Ukraine will begin the uniting force that brings a clearer perspective to the US and the world. We may find our compassion for others is big enough to stop the child-like squabbling in our neighborhoods, states, and countries.
Although I hate the conflict and everything surrounding it, it is enlightening to see people unify around a very far away cause. This unifying force is one of the biggest observations during conflict I am seeing at this moment.
Maybe this situation is precisely what we needed to put things in proper perspective.
Please join our prayer and meditation for World Peace on the third Sunday of the month on Zoom if you feel inspired to make a difference.