Mindfulness and resistance
In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I wanted to take a moment and write this short piece that I hope you will find some encouragement in. We live in a challenging and frightening time. It’s easy to believe that the world is coming apart at the seams and we are powerless to stop it.
What we are watching unfold in Ukraine feels especially dark: a tyrant swallowing up another country whole. The images of bombings, children seeking shelter, and fathers separated from fleeing families to fight the invasion is as heartbreaking as it is angering. As someone who works on issues related to armed conflict, some of the images I’ve seen online present strong evidence of Russian war crimes.
Vladimir Putin may believe he knows how this ends, but history shows us that men who start wars rarely get to end them on their terms. War is hell and chaos. Some of us feel like we can’t bear to look at another crisis. But bear witness we must. It is the most human thing we can do, both for the Ukrainian people and ourselves.
Searching for wisdom and hope
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Sometimes it feels like those words have been repeated and misused so often that they’ve lost their meaning. But they remain as true today as they were when Dr. King said them, especially when we seek to understand his context.
Dr. King once said those words near the end of a remarkable speech he gave not about civil rights, but against the Vietnam War. It’s worth your time to read the whole speech, but here is a larger snippet:
“I have spoken in recent years before hundreds of thousands of young people in their colleges, in the slums, in churches and synagogues. Their comments and questions reflect a sharply rising body of opinion that the inability to influence government to adopt urgent reforms is not a consequence of any superficial ignorance, lethargy or prejudice, but is systemic. There is more serious discussion today about basic structural change in our society, that I can recall, over a decade…