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“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston S. Churchill
I’ve been thinking about courage. What it is? How do people find and express it? Merriam-Webster defines courage as, “the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
I’ve watched my Ukrainian friends hunker down and refuse to give up even as Russian missiles rain down on their cities and homes. They continue to host music concerts, paint pictures, and rescue animals though electricity is almost non-existent and they have no running water.
There is a deep, unshakable belief in the right of the Ukrainian people to live their lives as they see fit, without the oversight of Russia or any other nation. There is also a stubbornness that in the eyes of many borders on insanity. I know one grandmother and grandfather, for example, who have refused to leave their home because they are determined to plant their spring garden.
I often wonder what I would do if I was in a similar situation. I am not sure, but I do know that I will do all I can to help those whose lives have been irrevocably affected by the Russian invasion. Because if there was ever a wake-up call for humanity - a reminder that kindness, empathy, and respect for differences are more important than any amount of data we can cram into our brains or any amount of money we can stuff into our bank accounts - this is it.
There are some things that define our value and will determine if we survive as a species. The first is how we treat one another. The second is how we treat the planet. And the third is how we see and value other creatures who share the planet with us. So far, we are failing miserably on all three counts.
I believe that our best chance to change the trajectory of humanity lies with our children. The future rests in their hands and will depend on how they are raised - the experiences they have, how they see adults treating one another, other living beings, and the planet, and whether or not they are helped to become self-aware, kind, and empathetic.
I shudder to think what the 1.8 million Ukrainian children who have been displaced by the Russian invasion and are now living in other countries have learned so far. Just imagine what it would be like to lose your home, be forced to leave everything behind, and live in a country with a culture and language that are not your own. What do you suppose those children are concluding about the world and their place in it?
Now imagine for a moment if you were shown a way to share your thoughts and feelings and process them with other children and adults who understand and want to empower you to make a difference. Imagine what might happen if those same children grow up determined to put an end to war and find creative, sustainable solutions to the problems the world is facing. Those are children who really could change the face of humanity and reshape the world.
I hope that you will help me do my part to make this happen. I will be in touch soon with very practical and positive steps you can take to help me help the kids. In the meantime, never forget that “all we need is hope and for that we have each other.”
Together we can move mountains!