I’m sure everybody is aware of the war in Ukraine and how stubborn President Putin is being, regarding what he is attempting. His claim has been he is protecting ethnically Russian people from being oppressed in Ukraine.
Well, the fact of the matter is, prejudice happens everywhere, and we all, in principle, disagree with it. But prejudging or misjudging is a common mistake we all make from time to time. Usually, it is based on lack of information or the presumption of being informed. This is problematic when a person or group of people operates from one information source, without investigating different sources.
Remember when your Dad said, “Always get more than one quote when hiring a contractor.” or “Do your research before purchasing something.” Good advice to be followed when assessing anything, even people and their issues. Maybe it’s a problem between friends, government parties, or countries. More and different information is likely better balance, because in the abundance of council, there is wisdom.
In the west, we are privy to much more information about conditions in Ukraine than those who live in Russia. Putin and his oligarchical tactics stem from fear of the people understanding and living in freedom. This fear has always tried to oppress freedom of speech and stop the other side of the truth from reaching the public.
When the other side of truth is met by childish ears too stubborn to hear, this is the soil in which the seeds of war grow and disenchantment with, and distrust of government flourishes. Consequently, intelligent people are led to conclusions Putin desires them to have, and they fall into the party line, even inside governments. Then they persuade two friends, and they persuade two friends and so on and so on. You remember the advert this comes from.
But this does not define a people, rather a problem between government and its people. Yet the problem remains; when a people who are misinformed by a single source act according to that misinformation, harm happens to the psyche of that people. Their collective conscience is seared, and people begin to defend and automatically act in accord with what they have now invested themselves in. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34 KJV
This is why it is so hard to remove people from their prejudice. It is guilt-ridden investment. The cover-up from fearful pride, and a reckoning within oneself the world is not how one has seen it all along.
So many here in the west won’t hear another side but will move to silence and even physically harm those not towing the “politically correct” line. Ironically, this is the farthest thing from correct. So that’s reduced to only “political.”
We have seen many political leaders, around the world and here at home, act in extremely personally invested manners, resulting in the free choice of others being treated with disregard and the value of human life being diminished.
I am a Ukrainian Canadian, and I hold nothing against my fellow Russian Canadians. We can support people as people, difference as individuality, and culture as a collective expression of that difference; as long as it values the lives it purports to hold, and leaves positions to freedom of speech and courtesy.
To be sober, being oneself does not mean everyone else must agree or even support the choice one makes. But it does mean we must not act in violence against a person because of it.
When a governing system, a controlling influence (like big business), or groups of people operate on a determined bias with agenda, it is no longer freedom of speech but the beginnings of tyranny. Functioning from this skewed perspective mistakes can be made on mass. If the voice of a single person is taken away, or the representation of a minority is stifled, or a media stream is dominated, dictated to, or an attempt is made to shut it down, this is freedom being scuttled, our fundamental culture being assaulted.
If one does prejudge, we can operate from the advantage of the other side of the truth in our Canadian West, regarding what has actually transpired in Ukraine, and trust our Government has not chosen somehow to suppress the truth, so we can see.
In a news article on TV, I saw a Ukrainian man and woman, who had planned to be married before this war started, still get married in Kyiv. They were both in battle fatigues, being showered in a rainfall of rose petals. Kyiv’s mayor was in attendance.
Keeping peace within oneself and extending it to those around protects the hearts of others as well. Real strength is finding and celebrating life regardless of the childish efforts of oppression. This maintains innate dignity and levels pride. They found beauty and stepped out to bring it and encouragement to the hearts of those in Ukraine.
Resilience is the ability to get back up and not be infected with the harm unleashed by a situation or another person. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom 12:21 NIV