No one knows the proper way to watch a fight. Although our indignation at the horrifying sight of the Russian invasion is strong and our sympathy for the Ukrainian people is profound, in the end we are just spectators. idle as barbaric crimes against humanity are exposed live on our screens. I’m sure the compulsive ‘we have to do something’ comes from a sense of charity, but I wonder if it comes from our desperate need to get rid of our own worthlessness at the end of the day. when the world needs it.
I’ve been anxious for weeks trying to figure out how to do something good or anything useful. People stuff oversized canvas shopping bags with supplies and drag them to local drop-off points. Everyone waits in line because the queue is vital proof: all these people queuing is proof that there is still humanity in the world. More than that, it’s proof that we helped.
But wait, no. That’s the wrong kind of help. Aid agencies explained that money was better. Of course, we corrected the mistake, within just a few days on this island, we made millions of dollars.
I am very grateful for this. Donating is a quick and clinical task that I can do from the couch with a few taps and clicks, never thinking too much about what I’m doing. It didn’t let me go up to the attic to explore the tiny outfits and the little hats, and the fear instilled in my stomach when I thought about where they were going and for whom.
In this fight, I was worse than useless, I hid. I started the fight for myself by scrolling through the parts I found too painful. The babies were so small and fragile, they looked like they were made of glass, next to the rough desperation of the bomb shelters in which they lay. Hats tucked into pramsuits, with the hats pulled low over the ears, look like little starfish as they’re carried on the bus by their terrified mother.
I am shocked at these images like volts. I can very easily – too easily – imagine holding a child the same size in my own arms, feeling their little breath on my cheek.
A few months ago, I met a man I hadn’t seen since I gave birth, and he recalls that many years ago, it was his child who changed his world. In his early days, with nights of darkness and confusion like hallucinations, he sat holding his infant while breastfeeding while the rest of the world continued to watch the news on TV. On the screen, refugees fleeing Kosovo hug children of their own age. “How?” He thought, struck by his fresh point of view.
I understand. Motherhood guided me from the inside out, and made me travel around the world in high spirits. I began to see my child in the suffering of Ukrainian children, and I found it unbearable. I avoid the evening news, where images of children fleeing war may appear without warning. The press also became unreliable, with each turn of the page threatening to reveal more things I didn’t want to see. I read the news online, like a coward, picking up and picking the easiest things to handle. We throw the word “privilege” in so many places, but being able to filter out a war is certainly the truest sense of the word.
But the news still found its way into my consciousness, following me to bath time and bedtime. I began to wonder why I had to put my baby down in a warm, safe place, and the answer was just luck. That’s all there is to do. Parents in Ukraine are living in the nightmare we all dread, where we lose our ability to protect our children. We are just lucky that we have never let our families become collateral damage in other people’s wars.
From afar it is attractive, but immoral. If chance and circumstances allowed me to get on that bus, holding a sweet toddler in one arm and my worldly possessions in another, would the camera lenses Would training on me bring me comfort if I knew, at least, that the world was seeing this?
Mothers who were injured stepping off a train in Poland this week were met with a barrage of strollers and strollers left by local women. Given the worldwide scale of this war, it’s a small gesture, but it’s sure to ease the load on families who may have been thousands of miles away from their homes before they had a chance to realize that they currently a refugee. At least, those mothers will know, when they shove their baby in someone else’s car, that everyone is watching. People know what’s going on with them.
Our efforts to help may be small and sometimes misguided, but they are often better than nothing. And the desire to help is fueled by our heartbreak at what we’re seeing on our televisions. That’s why we have to look. We must continue to monitor.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/mothers-and-fathers-in-ukraine-are-living-the-nightmare-we-all-dread-looking-away-is-appealing-but-amoral-41428722.html Parents in Ukraine are living the nightmare that we all dread. From afar, it is attractive, but immoral