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Unforeseen Peace: United We Must Stand

Everyone starts somewhere. Right before our eyes, our lives begin for us. For me, I was born in a small town right outside of Louisville, Kentucky. The type of place where everyone knows everyone. A place where many people are privileged, while those in poverty hide in the outskirts in the in-between cities and counties. A bunch of small country towns connecting with silly little names. Home to me.

As hard as it may be for us to accept, I feel as though the place in which we are born can have the potential to dictate our entire lives. Do not forget that I said “can” have the potential, because in some cases, well, many, this is not entirely true. I mean you are more than just where you came from, right? I hope so.

On a bigger scale, however, sometimes people cannot escape where they come from. To have a roof over your head and a warm bed at night is to be thankful that you indeed have that comfort. In the end, no one truly understands how lucky they are to understand such comfort. Unless, of course, you have experienced such without, for which I am truly so sorry.

In our generation, who would have fathomed that another country is being invaded. Yes, that was what I was getting too. Moreover, like many Americans, we typically go about our daily lives ignorant in our own blissful stupor. 5,687 miles away, in Ukraine, the world is not nearly as lucky. Even in our country people are struggling, miserably so. Yet, they are still free, and we should be thankful that war has not polluted our streets. And I hope we never live to see that day.

In today's world crisis, the headlines are horrific with the news of Russia's terrifying invasion of its neighboring country, Ukraine. Ukrainians are displaced, scared, and alone amidst their country falling apart. Many are trying to do whatever they can to protect their children and families. Lives have been lost — lives that should never have been taken. Brothers, sisters, people that are just like us. People with great potential.

Women hold signs in support of Ukraine in a demonstration against Russia's invasion on Feb. 26, 2022, in London, England. Future Publishing/Future Publishing via Getty Images.

I feel so helpless and sorrowful for these innocent lives lost and the people who are faced with unimaginable fear. I am not the one waking up to the face of war, they are. Yet, united they stand, even with many defenseless and terrified as their country is faced with a brutal reminder of the horror of what war leaves behind. How can the world be so cold and cruel while yet so beautiful?

The war which is starting in Ukraine is utterly unbelievable, however, it must remind us of the fact that we are indeed lucky to be free — a foreseen luck that we take for granted. We forget how lucky we are to be free. Simply not waking up amidst unforeseeable violence is a privilege many are not fortunate enough to have.

Instead of being ignorant of the world around us and avoiding the uncomfortable conversations that war can bring, we must instead help support Ukraine by educating ourselves. Educating ourselves with realistic factual information will allow us to understand the unforeseeable as well as the ways in which we can support countries like Ukraine, even being miles away. Whether you do so by donating, reposting or providing refuge, stand up for what you believe in. Every act of kindness matters in these critical moments.

A young girl is photographed inside a house where she lives with her family after shelling by separatist forces on Feb. 20, 2022, in Novognativka, in eastern Ukraine. (UNICEF)

Let the invasion of Ukraine stand as a reminder to you that bad things can happen, even in our generation, and war can boil just before our eyes. We must stand united as a country and as individuals to support one another. United we stand, divided we fall, right?

Growing up, I was taught just how important peace is, not only peace among the world but also peace in yourself. To know happiness without the value of a dollar sign, I feel, is to be truly happy. To be happy is to be at peace, I think. Peace can mean different things to everyone. What comes first to your mind when you think of peace? Whatever it is, hold on to it, cherish it and never let it go, as it can be taken from you in the blink of an eye. Because peace is so fragile, let this be a reminder of just how important it is to value and fight for.


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