These are my thoughts about the situation with Putin and the people of Ukraine. But I have to say this is also an opportunity for people, worldwide, and especially women to take a stand against violence and for human rights, equality, dignity, and compassion.
I, too, get frustrated when things like this happen again and again. I feel helpless. What can I do?! So I'm sharing my thoughts and some actionable links to help you discover what you can do. It's a little long, but in the interest of time, I decided not to over-edit or silence myself. =)
I admit, the more I heard about Putin possibly invading Ukraine, the more shocked and angry I became. How, in this day and age, can a person feel so entitled that he can take over another country by injuring and killing as many people as it takes to achieve that goal. After all the years of study on the horrific effects of war and violence, how does this continue? And why are we not outraged into positive action?
We march against one issue or another. We pray that someone will do something. But how often do we actually do what we know needs to be done? Why don’t we all do something to demand positive action for peace?
Because it’s the dynamic of violence that breeds silence from the very people that need to speak up. Why? It all comes down to fear, and it’s what I call the awareness-denial dynamic. We are aware that it’s wrong, but deny our ability to do anything about it. It’s the same dynamic that silences a child or a parent when the other parent is being abusive. It’s the same dynamic that silences the worker because they don’t want to lose their job. It’s the same dynamic that stops elected officials from speaking out about what’s right for the greater good because someone might criticize, belittle, or simply treat them as if they are wrong. And if we let them continue to silence us, the dynamic will continue. It’s that simple and they know it.
So why isn’t something being done on the world stage about acts of aggression? I’ll give you my 3 reasons.
Guilt. There are too many guilty parties throughout the years that would also have to be held accountable. Putin isn’t the first to start an unprovoked attack. The World Court or The United Nations could do something, but what about those who came before Putin. And the awareness-denial spiral begins again.
Profit. Peace is perceived as not profitable to those that make the most money through violence. A peaceful community is healthy, creative, productive, sharing, and caring. People aren’t angry, vengeful, fearful, and frustrated; therefore, there is no need for industries—I'll name three—that feed the cycle: drugs, weapons, and some forms of media. Each of these are marketable worldwide, and to keep that profit loop going, you have to make people fear they will be lost without it. And so it continues.
Patriarchy. The world has been under a patriarchy for too long. The domination system, as Riane Eisler calls it in her book The Chalice and the Blade and in her latest book, Nurturing Our Humanity, isn’t working. How is it possible that half the world population is treated as less than the other half? How is it possible that the feminine continues to be silenced, minimized, and oppressed? Put simply, it’s time for women to recognize their abilities, their opinions, and their ideas and proactively do something with them. We need balance among feminine and masculine energies. Women need to speak up a whole lot more and in every venue.
Many will die in this attack. But women and children will also die, or get sick, become refugees, homeless, or poverty stricken after this invasion. Many men and women who survive will be so beaten down, terrified, or so heavy with new responsibilities that they won’t have the strength or resources to fight against the dynamic. It’s understandable, but aren’t we all tired of the lives lost or forever changed by one or a few men waging a battle to bring them an imagined measure of power? The only reason anyone needs to feel all-powerful is because they feel powerless. It’s not rocket science! But they’ll make it seem that way. They’ll use words and concepts that confuse, so we’ll feel it’s too complicated for us to understand. The media will blather on endlessly about what if this, what if that, and bring in their line of ‘experts’ who will go on about all that could happen, resulting in fueling the fear that is the problem in the first place.
Pathetic. I’m outraged that this continues. And I’m outraged by the dynamic that makes people so afraid to do anything that they do nothing. I know this dynamic. It seems too big to change. I understand it, but the one way to break free from it is to do something from your heart, anyway. Sure you may be just one person but—newsflash—everything starts with just one person who has a thought, an idea.
So when and if you’re ready, here are some general thoughts on what we can all do. You will likely think of more. Send them on. I’ll put them in another post.
Send an email.
Sign a petition.
Call the president or your congressperson every day until they do something to make it stop.
Share your ideas.
Join a committee or an action group. Start one!
Use your voice when someone is unkind, rude, or insensitive and then use your voice to demonstrate kindness. If we remain silent to acts of oppression, we enable it. How? Because those people think that if you don’t say anything about their behavior, then you find their behavior acceptable.
On that note, praise the behavior you want to see. Say thank you, you’re awesome, what a wonderful thing you did…
Raise a peace flag, share a compliment, a note of encouragement, an act of kindness—and keep doing it.
Countless acts of love, peace, and kindness will generate more. I promise you. It’s not magic, it’s math! But we have to amp it up. So in Women’s History Month, I’m urging women and girls everywhere to do something to make the world more fair, more harmonious, more awesome. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. It’s up to us!
I started this post with the attack on Ukraine. I am still horrified by the idea of it, as I'm sure are you, but I had to do something. So I'm using this edition to share some specific ideas with you. Please share it with others. This short list was compiled from a number of organizational emails I’ve received over the past couple weeks. Do what you’re comfortable with. Check out the organizations before you sign, get involved, etc.
Get accurate information on the situation in Ukraine from the links provided by The Optimist Daily at https://www.optimistdaily.com/ukraine/
Send a message through Amnesty International to the Russian Ambassador to stop attacking the people of Ukraine
Sign an Avaaz petition to stop Putin’s war on the people of Ukraine:
Sign a MoveOn petition supporting the people of Ukraine: https://front.moveon.org
Donate, through MoveOn, to the World Central Kitchen to provide meals in Ukraine
Donate to UNICEF “on the ground helping Ukraine’s children”
Donate to Ukraine Emergency Fund through Great Nonprofits. You can choose which fund!
Donate to Global Fund for Women supporting the crisis response in Ukraine
Thanks to Kids For Peace Global for this link to a Save the Children article: Ukraine: 5 Ways to Talk To Children About Conflict.
More random articles on how to help Ukraine