Last night I was looking at the Moon and I was thinking to myself that we were all contemplating the same Moon, whether we were in Ukraine, Russia or China, from this one and the same Earth that we share. Last night I woke up to the sound of bombs … in my head. I imagined the horror experienced in Mariupol, or rather, this horror forced on me and stuck in my head.
How can one find satisfaction in the most cruel expression of absolute evil? How can we not lose our footing or lose faith in humanity in the face of the unbridled display of icy cruelty intended to terrorize and annihilate innocent people? How can we enjoy our quiet life when hell is at the door, even though it may still seem far away? Where can you find comfort in a world that is faltering and may be swept away by the tsunami of hatred?
Are we witnessing the bankruptcy of democracy, undermined from within by the selfishness of the tribe, calculating or petty interests, and the resulting disinformation that highlights inequalities and injustices instead of building a more just, healthy, and respectful nature? Would democracy prove incapable of opposing bloodthirsty dictators, regimes that oppress their citizens, states that do not care about the common good and global issues that should still bring us all together, issues like the pandemic, climate change, hunger and growing inequalities?
You ask yourself all these questions, or on the contrary, you drive them out of your mind because they are too heavy to bear, revealing to you your helplessness, our helplessness in the face of the malice of a single person armed to the teeth. You want out of this vicious dream. You fantasize about the uprising of the Russian people against their leaders or even the surrender of Ukraine, provided this hell stops.
See how the leaders of the free world hesitate, are absent for fear of total war and lose the advantage of the initiative to the Russian steamrollers. Putin rightly took advantage of this hesitation, internal divisions and conflicting interests to start his aggression.
The United States is more divided and more misinformed than ever. Germany is doped with Russian oil and gas. Right-wing extremist parties are rising across Europe, promoting a retreat to one’s identity when, more than ever, it is necessary to have a global vision of our humanity. In Canada, the right wing is radicalized under the influence of politicians’ cynical methods in our neighbor to the south. Winning becomes the rule, regardless of the means, because the winners are applauded and courted. Is it not on this assurance that Putin’s reign is built?
This fratricidal war is a war of civilization, the war of democracy against barbarism. The war in Ukraine sows the seeds for other wars to come. It shows the way for other dictatorships that thirst for control. How to find peace in the soul without acting on it at our level?
This fight against barbarism also takes place at home, before our eyes, every day. Either we nurture these seeds, or we choose human brotherhood and fight for justice and equality for all. This means that, while guarding clearly against external threats, we must develop a spirit of solidarity and, above all, strengthen morals and ethical sense in all areas of our society.
And we must start by strengthening our democracy, which, although imperfect, is the land capable of creating a better world. We must maintain the hope that our democracy contains the seeds of its own reform. You must embody in your own life, even at the expense of certain victims, the humanistic values that we want to see flourish in society. Let us remember that the total absence of empathy and the instrumentalization of people is also the historical heritage of our society.