I’d like to share some thoughts with you, I hope this is helpful.

After we have expressed support, donated money, spoke to Ukrainian friends, what’s next? As days pass, just read the news? Swing from rage to sorrow, love to fear, bitterness to hope and back? Is that all?

Please, but no.

There is a difference between us and THEM. We, in our hearts, are human. THEY, are not. We are one. There is no longer a Ukrainian, an Irish, a Russian or a Dutch. WE ARE MILLIONS. Beautifully diverse, yet we have the same needs, dreams and smiles. THEY are few, a bunch of mad cowards held together by fear, greed and force.

The glue that holds us is very different. There is no way one could ever force me to un-love my loved ones. No economic sanctions would make me stop caring for my kids. When my currency crashes, I will still love them and my cat. If they jail me, if I’m powerless and unable to support my loved ones, I will hold them dear in my heart! To stop me from that, is impossible.

But it is possible and doable, to break the force, conquer the fear, bring down the power, destroy the money and denounce greed. Their allegiance is to money and power, which all pass eventually. Money, power and fear, all that holds them. Take away one and they run away from each other.

It is weaker than we think. A house of cards that has fallen apart many times, and will fall again. We are guilty, we were caught off guard between daily struggles, divided by the pandemic, not inquisitive and caring enough. But it is still not too late.

We, Polish, have a battle-tested solution. It is called SOLIDARITY. It brought them down once. It will work again, simple as that!

This is what we humans do in these days:

  • Get up, hug our loved ones
  • Have a coffee or other favourite beverage
  • Sit down, think, get a clear picture of where you are, plan our busy day
  • Talk to your Ukrainian friends and colleagues. Check in with them, day after day, never stop. Ask how they feel, whether they need something, give them love and support.
  • Talk to your Russian friends and colleagues who were unwillingly caught in the middle. So they no longer fear to speak out.
  • Have no fear. Have love and care. We will prevail.

Then, keep your excellent work, to be able to continue your financial support. This is the least we can do, and the needs are growing. As of now, there’s nearly half a million refugees in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. There will be much more. They all will need continued practical daily support for months to come, even if this hell ends tomorrow. Our support cannot be another one-off feel-good action. It must be simple, coordinated, not glamorous but pragmatic and efficient effort.

Finally, a few thoughts from Carl Sagan, a sci-fi writer. He wrote once about the picture of our planet, taken in 1990 by the Voyager space probe from a distance of 6 billion kilometers. On this picture Earth, our home, is nothing more than a single blue dot:

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

— Carl Sagan

Pale Blue Dot