The people's voice of reason

Tears & Laughter - American Heartbreak for Ukraine

It is difficult to watch Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t it?

Since the beginning, citizens of the world have watched helplessly. As individuals, it can feel as if there is practically nothing substantial we can do to help as the war continues rage on after 50 days.

We can donate or we can pray, but it seems much too little too late either way.

It is hard not to look away from the images and videos coming out of Ukraine. It is reminiscent of World War II for people who were not even born yet during World War II. It reminds us of the horrors, and how they were not in black and white when they happened. Only the pictures were.

Wilcox County is not a county that is well-known for its wealth like it was once upon a time, but what it lacks monetarily it makes up for with heart.

I won’t go so far as to call it hospitality.

We are capable that too of course. The place is pretty much still steeped in that. It’s the Deep South.

But having heart is different than being hospitable. Hospitality can sometimes have a hint of ostentatiousness surrounding it – guest towels, cut flowers in ornate vases, elaborate table setting. Bubbly drinks in crystal glasses. Hospitality can sometimes run parallel to a show and tell of what a person owns and has accomplished.

Nothing wrong with that, but that is not what I am not talking about when I say heart, which tones down some of what might otherwise be emphasized.

Wilcox County, like most counties in the whole nation I would think, has heart. We care.

It is a poor county and a lot of people here know what it is like to struggle, or barely get by, or have a genuine need.

But even being a place that may lack in ways, when disastrous things happen, our natural instinct is to help. When hurricanes target neighboring states and send evacuees this way, the parks are opened and we host potluck dinners for anybody who needs a meal. People bring and give freely of what they have to help fill the needs. The spirit of giving prevails.

When a family loses a home to fire, we scratch up the beginnings of a whole new household by nightfall.

This kindness is repeated across the United States in small towns, and communities, and cities alike.

We can’t host a potluck for the entire country of Ukraine.

We can’t just open our hearts and parks and give of our community. It is not as simple as that. The Ukrainians need far more than material belongings or temporary lodging.

They have lost loved ones. They have lost their country as they knew it.

We can’t share, or listen, or gather our children to play with theirs just to try and make life feel normal and calm for a moment.

We are inhibited by distance. An entire ocean separates us. It feels like there is little we can do on a meaningful scale…other than donate, and pray that a power greater than the powers of this world can provide for the people of Ukraine.


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