We are so similar and need each other

Our friend Raye, who paints so well with words and pictures at http://jotsfromasmallapt.wordpress.com/, commented to me earlier this week, through all of her travels, she has noticed how similar we are. Of course, we are a diverse group of people of different races, religions, ethnic groups and cultures, but when you get beneath the surface, she is accurate in her conclusion. We want to have fulfilling lives and raise our families in a safe, secure and productive environment. We want to laugh with our friends and provide the needed armfuls of hugs, shoulders to cry on, hands to help with, legs to walk with and ears to listen.

Like me, Raye looks through a very human lens of imperfection and cares for the disenfranchised and the ones who do not have a voice at the table. She anguishes when the school yard bully from Russia takes the lunch money of everyday Ukrainian people. These are the folks that want to live, feed their families and have opportunity like everyone else. They should be able to decide this for themselves. I would encourage you to read the insightful comment by susan@quirkywomeninbooks in my post this weekend https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/as-the-rest-of-the-world-decides-on-putin/ where she speaks of her time in the Ukraine.

Like me, we anguish over those who had leaders that ruled them unjustly and lived the high life in the “Animal Farm” house while the everyday folks toiled outside working the fields. Whether it was Egypt, Libya or Ukraine, people saw how their leaders lived and realized they have little to show for it. These real life “Boxers” did not want to end up like the hard-working equine hero in George Orwell’s novel, so they rebelled and said why are we looking to align ourselves only with an entity that squelches freedoms and free markets through corruption?

We need to speak up for the pawns in these political games that are played around the world, whether they are in America, Venezuela, China, Middle East, India, Russia or Ukraine. In capitalistic economies, the power is in the industry leaders and if left unfettered by governance, they can become robber barons. The United States had robber barons six score years ago and is closer to it again today with a limited few owning an astounding percentage of American wealth. In socialistic economies, the power resides in the government oligarchy which is more easily corruptible. And, in totalitarian countries, it resides in the limited few who rule and embody corruption.

Right now, other similarities exist for the pawns around the world. We have a poverty issue.  We have a hunger issue. We have a water issue. We have a human rights issue. My friend George Dowdell lives and breathes helping others and his work and advocacy can be found at http://georgedowdell.org/2014/03/03/first-impressions-justice-conference/. He notes that the issue of climate change effects the “least of us” in the world the most. They are the ones whose food crops suffer due to lack of water. They are ones whose islands get consumed by the sea. They are the ones where industry steps all over their land rights. Yet, we have too much discussion around the politics of influence and ownership. The loud voices over who gets to rule or influence the rulers, drown out the faint echo of those whose voice cannot be heard and whose needs are the greatest.

On a blog I follow which shows various acts of kindness at http://kindnessblog.com/, it showed a picture of the young daughter of Ukrainian soldier visiting with her daddy who was on duty behind an iron bar fence. To me, it reverberated Raye’s comments that we are so similar. Here was a daughter that missed her daddy. And, from one daddy to another thousands of miles away, I can assure you he misses her, too. Let’s make sure he has the opportunity to watch her grow and live a fulfilling life. Let’s make sure other daughters and sons can do the same no matter where they live. Let’s speak up for the disenfranchised. If we don’t do it, the bullies of the world will continue to steal their lunch money. Sometimes they will use a tank and sometimes they will use a pen.

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13 thoughts on “We are so similar and need each other

  1. Thanks for the cite, BTG. If you go here: http://marshasbungalow.com/ukraine/ you can read about my time in Ukraine. It might also be worth it to look up former Peace Corps Volunteers in your town (there are nearly 3,000 so someone will be close by) or google their podcasts/blogs. Again, thanks for your connection to the happenings in a fascinating country. I have daily contact with friends there, and things are very tough.

      • Note to all. I have made an edit to a reference to “the Ukraine” changing it to “Ukraine.” I was inconsistent and I have learned from Susan’s follow-up comment to my referenced post, that the word “the” implies it is part of the old Russia. Ukraine is more appropriate. Thanks for the enlightenment. I would encourage readers to click on the link to read her follow-up comment as well. BTG

      • Hah! It’s really Susan, but I developed ‘Marsha’ when I lived in Ukraine and wanted to have an open journal so friends and family could participate. The agency we worked for did not want us publishing things they hadn’t approved, and so if I was ‘Marsha’, I could say what I wanted. It stuck around. Again, thanks for your concern for people who live right around the corner. Also – do you know about kyivpost.com – it’s the English language newspaper from Kyiv – a bit western-dominated, but pretty fair.

      • Thanks Susan. It is one reason I used BTG and Old Fart. Some of my strident opinions may hinder my ability to open doors to get funding for those in need. I will check into the website you mentioned. I have already shared some of your experiences with my family.

  2. I agree with you. However, I believe our own house is in such disorder at the moment, that it’s all we could do to concert our efforts to straighten out the inequities right here at home.

    • Our imperfections are definitely showing. Plus, we are so divided in Washington and elsewhere, we cannot make straightforward and needed decisions to remedy problems. Everyone is constantly running for office and the power brokers have carte blanche to dictate with how we fund elections. I think it will continue to take a confederation of efforts large and small to turn our battleship.

  3. I, too, have read Susan’s posts and will follow her suggestion linking with Peace Corp Volunteers. Portland is fortunate in having quite a large Russian community. Should I find comments of interest from our own citizens communicating with family and friends in Ukraine…will make note and pass them along.
    Our own US citizens have much that we take for granted…even with all existing disparity and discontent within the ranks. With words and not weapons we can and should be passionate about making freedom and fairness a by-product we can export. Priceless….

    Thank you, BTG, I hear you….
    Raye

    • Thanks Raye. I read through Susan’s piece. It was quite informational. Please do share any lessons you learn. You are so right we take things for granted here. BTG

      • Reaching out in our neighborhoods is a great idea. I agree with Raye that we all have a wealth of information and experience to give each other. Look what you’ve done here, BTG. This is also a wonderful forum to spread the love around. I do believe that when people connect this way, the dominoes start falling in better and better-informed directions.

      • Totally agreed. We need to share information on the real problems and solutions that are working. Right now in the US, Washington is more of a blocker than they are an enabler to effective solutions. This Congress, in particular, is the most least collaborative body of legislators I have witnessed. Part of the reason, some feel collaboration is a dirty word, and therein lies the problem. Thanks for your efforts. BTG

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