In Times of War, We Should…

 “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

                                                                              Helen Keller

 
As I read the above quote, I move from thinking about my Adventure or the other character-building events in our lives to the people in Ukraine. These fellow humans are facing injury and death on a daily basis. Some, as I write this, are holding a rifle or anti-tank gun in their tired hands, worrying about their children or spouses on the front lines or riding in a truck to a camp in Russia. Most are facing the loss of everything that they’ve known. Even if the hostilities were to stop today, their lives are forever changed.
 
As an American born into a middle-class home, I have never known hardship on the level that the Ukrainians are experiencing it today. My frame of reference does not include fighting for my life or my home being bombed. 
 
How am I to react? I could do something like change my Facebook picture to include their flag. I could look for a place to donate some money or I could pray. Is it enough to watch and hope and feel? 
 
Part of me wants to be on the ground fighting with them. The American Revolution is in my DNA as is the German and Russian aggressions against my grandfather’s homeland, Poland in WWII. As a 60-year-old man who hasn’t held a gun since summer camp, I would not be among their first draft choices, but I am angry and would put my shoulder into this conflict if asked.
 
As much as I would hate to see WWIII happen, I don’t think we can wait and watch. Senator Mitch McConnell, who I normally despise, said on Face The Nation that we need to change our perception of this war. He said we need to believe that Ukraine, with our help, can win it. He wants us to send more weapons to defeat the Russians and more aid if requested. He thinks we need to be in it to win it.
 
As much as I dislike the guy, I agree. I’m even willing to go one massive step further. I would encourage UN troops, a multi-international force, to put boots on the ground and push the Russians the hell out NOW.
 
Wow. It feels good to write that, to express my absolute hate for the genocide taking place in a country, not unlike my own. 
 
If the USA were being invaded by Russia, would we want Europe and the rest of the world sitting on the sidelines? If they were bombing our schools, maternity hospitals and homes would we be content having our allies say, “We feel your pain, USA!” I don’t think so. Would we be content with military aid and their promise to freeze the bank accounts of our enemy? I would not. I would want them to get their asses over here and help defeat the invaders. Risky? You bet. I’ll leave you with another thing Helen Keller said:
 
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
 
 

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