Letter to the Editor – Ukraine War

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Dear Editor,

For awhile I have been watching much more tv and streaming programs, both inside and outside my usual choices. With the news so full of the terrible aggressive war being waged by Russia in Ukraine; turmoil and violence in disparate places in the world; I needed entertainment as perhaps a respite for mind and heart. So: I surfed and discovered how many programs are about murder, mayhem and violence; and outer space snarling aliens wanting to subjugate or destroy our world. 

By chance in my search, two programs I came across on the documentary channel were the respite I needed. The documentary of “Come From Away” was again presented. The wonderful story of the response by the people of Gander Newfoundland welcoming and caring for the passengers of international flights diverted to Gander on 9/11. A caring story of heart, smiles and generosity. Despite the terrorists that caused this tragedy, and this intersection of people “From Away” and the people of Gander; the story tells of courage, selfless kindness and deep enduring friendships that blossomed. Both my heart and mind were lifted as I watched once more. 

Of all the trips we have taken over the years, our trip to Newfoundland is unique. Its majesty in its land is made extra special by the hospitable hearts of the people. That generosity of spirit, is the backbone of Newfoundland. It is also in Canada, and our community!

Then I watched a biography of Pope Francis. It is about a unique humble person and interesting to learn about the man behind the great office he occupies. The message from this man, at the pinnacle of his church hierarchy, is anchored in his humanity. For him, among the most important treasures in life that need nurturing, are a sincere smile and a sense of humour. His message resonates regardless of religion. Kindness of heart and empathy are engaging. I would ask that a striving for, and practice of, creativity and appreciation of beauty be added to the treasures.

What a contrast these two presentations made to the techno brilliant images of snarling, enormously menacing and ugly outer space aliens destroying everything in their path, with earth’s atmosphere and resources their aim. And, in movie after movie, life on earth is to be destroyed. Then!  

The images of the war in Ukraine! Images of an invasion by Russia, whose aim is to flatten everything with no regard for who or how many people are killed, maimed or wounded. Why? What will the nations of the world do to aid Ukraine to “win”? What will the nations of the world do if Ukraine “loses”? 

There is also Afghanistan, another nation of hunger, pain and destruction. What will the nations of the world do to aid the Afghan people? The pallet around the world is violence, war, killing, kidnapping, refugee suffering! This is unfolding and ongoing in many spots. Images of crying children abound.

Then a return to the optics of TV national and international news. A running visual kaleidoscope to the corruption, upheaval, invasions, wars, cruelty, grasping for power, disrespect for the rule of law and killing one of the other? How to stop is the question to ask? Can the present crop of “World Leaders” find the courage and wisdom to chart a course to resolution? What can “we the people” do?

Can the people of the world channel their prodigious talents to invent a new world hobby to replace the prevailing one of violence and war? With a heart that is heavy with worry, I hope that courage can triumph and kindness change the world.

Best wishes

Nadia Gray

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