Recognize your anger as sign to take action.
Born at the end of the Baby Boomer Generation, I am among the youngest to have experienced the Cold War. Growing up in Southern California, the air raid siren tower was just blocks from our home. It blared loud and clear during its emergency tests. In elementary school, we practiced not only earthquake drills, but how to protect ourselves from aerial bombings. In college, my friends and I witnessed a missile-like projection across the sky. I remember panic rising within me as I thought the Soviets were attacking. I vividly recall the terror of that moment.
So, when Russia recently invaded Ukraine, I found myself back in that Cold War mentality. My anger bubbled over. I felt such deep fear for all involved. And, it immobilized me.
Tyrants use fear to control others.
Despots, like Putin, know the easiest way to gain power and control over others is through fear. War, torture, assassinations and threats are their go-to tools. They know fear paralyzes people into not taking action.
Luckily, world leaders didn’t respond as Putin would’ve liked them to. In March, the United Nations voted for a resolution to reprimand Russia for invading Ukraine (141 countries for, 4 against and 35 abstained). The world’s united response starved Putin of the attention and power he craves. Even in his own country, tens of thousands of Russian citizens are protesting even though they risk imprisonment. Still, their voices rise.
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, called for nonviolent means to end this war. “War is outdated – non-violence is the only way. We need to develop a sense of the oneness of humanity by considering other human beings as brothers and sisters. This is how we will build a more peaceful world.”
Anger is a sign to take positive actions.
My fear wasn’t productive and that idleness made me angry. Then I had an epiphany: my anger was a sign that my soul cried out for me to take positive action. And once I take action, I release the bonds of negativity and positively contribute to ending this tragic event.
All acts of kindness and love—no matter the size—are powerful.
I belong to the Facebook group, View from My Window, which features photos looking out the windows of homes from all over the world. In the weeks leading up to this war, I saw many posts from Ukrainians. Their posts weren’t angry or fearful; instead, they focused on the love for their country. The rest of us in the group had the privilege to respond and tell them we supported them. On Feb. 28 (days after the war began), a Ukrainian woman posted in our group, “We feel your prayers and your support. Thank you.”
Steps you can take now.
Here are ways you can support all of those negatively impacted by this aggression.
- Pray for everyone impacted. Pray every day.
- Send love and positive energy to those struggling.
- Call or email your government representatives with support for Ukraine.
- Donate or volunteer. Look here for a list of reputable charities working in Ukraine.
- Book a room in Ukraine from Airbnb and provide much needed income to a displaced/struggling resident. Some tips:
- Make sure the room is managed by a person and not a company;
- Look at the reviews to ensure they have been ongoing and it is not a scam;
- Book the soonest night possible so they will get paid sooner;
- Message the person renting the room and let them know you are not coming.
- Further, Airbnb has a program for rental property owners to house refugees.
War stands as one of the most drastic ways for creating widespread change. War is heartless, but it also makes people shine in ways that they never had before.
Seeing the world come together and stand as one gives me hope.
Please join me in shifting your mindset away from fear, anger or hatred. Let’s focus on love and kindness for all. For each time we practice this, we create a lasting love force energy. If each person gave just some love and kindness, the world would drastically change for the better.