Being More Human

As Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, pursues his conquest of Ukraine, which is costing thousands of lives, I am reminded of our duty to do all we can to help our fellow human beings. It is incumbent on each of us to do our utmost to assist each other and to make life as fruitful and fulfilling as we can for each of our human companions.

I know firsthand, up close and personal, what death in war is. I will never recover from the damage to my soul inflicted by watching men die in battle. Putin’s wanton murder of innocent civilians—including women, children, and the elderly—is unforgivable. The world must never try to gloss over or dismiss Russia’s unspeakable acts in this war.

Putin’s savagery is becoming more unmistakable as more reports reach us from Ukraine. According to U.S. estimates, more than 7,000 Russian soldiers have died already in Ukraine, greater than the number of American troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The number of deaths, not of soldiers but of civilians of all stripes, is unquestionably greater and will soon become so numerous as to make Ukraine the equivalent of Chechnya where about the Russians killed 300,000 people during two wars there, and more than 200,000 people went missing.

The best that ordinary people like you and me can do is to reach out to others. We can make their lives a little less burdensome. We can help those in need. We can give a hand to those most beleaguered. We can, in short, offer an example to others, especially those in other nations, that will expose, by contrast, how goodness looks when compared with evil.

2 thoughts on “Being More Human”

  1. Tom, well said.
    Ukraine is hard to watch now. I feel like
    I am reliving my grandparents’ Cold War fears.
    But we can help in big and small ways.
    And we can be inspired by so many other Helpers
    who are risking their lives.

    As a storyteller, I can’t help but be curious
    about the story of Putin’s life. We know
    he is an old KBG-guy, but doesn’t tell enough.
    I wonder what his zeitgeist is, to be so
    callow and stuck in a past time, willing
    to commit such evil in order to right a perceived old wrong.
    Maybe that’s the age-old question. How
    we become who we do…


  2. Thanks, Rose. I think there is nothing to know about Putin beyond his inhuman savagery. He clearly doesn’t care how much suffering he inflicts on the Ukrainians—or the Russians, for that matter. But it is unclear what he can gain for himself—he’s already one of the wealthiest men in the world. We can only hope that, in the long run, Putin will be brought to justice, ideally by his own people, the Russians.


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