The basic logic behind the fact that we’re all humans and deserve human rights is unarguable. However, both historic and contemporary issues continuously prove that people will inevitably violate this basic logic. It is important to consider that we were not born to hate.
The Ukrainian conflict: to some, a worthless case, to others, a historic recurrence, and to most, a forgotten tragedy. It is reasonable for me to argue the many socioeconomic, political, and historical events leading up to this ongoing conflict. To break it down, however, we must consider the human element. In all policy, American or foreign, we are speaking of the well-being of society. Politicians must represent the people, and fight for them. Instead, we witness corruption, greed, and actions that only enhance personal benefits. Rather than continuing to go in depth about the tragedy itself, I think it’s significant to focus on human nature.
This summer, I spent 8-10 hours independently researching Ukrainian events, historical context, and general Eastern European history. Everything I read about follows a hidden pattern, which most would ignore at first. My first point is public thought. What is the “common good”? Who decides whether the majority opinion wins? Can a vote decide? The answer is no. Nothing is in black-and-white. Most people are conformists. Dangerously, this means there are seemingly only two sides to every conflict. In reality, the complexity of our beliefs goes beyond a polarized system.
While looking at the demographics of Crimea, it may seem justifiable for it to become part of Russia. The manner in which it was stolen, however, can never be justified. The time and health people sacrifice to protect the roots of their homeland is heart-wrenching. There’s a beauty to their strength; however, with sacrifice comes pain.
I met a former soldier at Yale-New Haven Hospital, struggling with blindness caused by the conflict. Leaving his daughters in the care of others, and his familiar homeland, he and his wife traveled to the United States to receive world class medical treatment. He was not the first soldier I interviewed and met. Many struggle through the same process.
In several parts of Ukraine, similar to the rest of the world, people are blind to the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine. With this in mind, we must ask ourselves: is ignorance truly bliss? It’s not. Ignorance results in more struggle and pain than most would expect. Information is crucial, especially in the U.S. where knowledge is encouraged. I urge people to learn, and think about the human impact. Keeping everything stated in mind, I leave you with this lingering question: what can we as a society do to improve human understanding?