As per this article on Ukraine:

. . . Amazingly, in polling conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) last September, 68 percent of Ukrainians answered yes to the question “Do you consider yourself a happy person?” compared with just 53 percent in 2017. When I asked the sociologist Nataliya Zaitseva-Chipak to help me understand — how on earth could people be happier during a war of terror directed against the civilian population? — she replied, “Yes, I’m happier!” It wasn’t just the overwhelming sense of common purpose, she explained. It was also appreciating everything you still have when your compatriots are suffering so much worse in the trenches or the pulverized city of Mariupol. . . .


If you know someone looking for a sense of purpose, suggest they start by Googling volunteer opportunities and their zip code.

Not only does helping someone or some group provide purpose (just, please, try not to help a cult: look for a fact-based cause), it reminds us how fortunate we are not to be in their shoes.

As my late mother once wrote (apologies to long-time readers who’ve heard this before):

My Christmas message is quite short:
Give to OTHERS your support.
Count your blessings, help the needy . . .
It makes you happy, yes indeedy!
Self-involvement makes you sad;
Espouse a cause and you’ll be glad.
Extend some roots and find a goal
And peace and joy will fill your soul.

It’s not John Masefield or Ernest Lawrence Thayer . . . but helpful words to someone adrift?

And now back to that same article in the New York Review.

Putin Is losing:

. . . From every Ukrainian you now hear this utter rejection and even hatred, not just of the Russian president, not just of the Russian Federation, but of everything Russian, including the culture and language of what Putin likes to call the “Russian world.” “I was a Russian speaker until February 24,” said Adeline, a refugee from the town of Nova Kakhovka, just across the River Dnipro from Kherson. Several students I spoke to echoed the argument of the Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko that the horrors of Bucha and Irpin are somehow prefigured in Russian literature—not just in Dostoevsky but even, they say, in Tolstoy and Chekhov.

In Ukrainian literature they find “the spirit of freedom”; in Russian, only that of oppression and mental servitude. According to KIIS, in May 2013 some 80 percent of Ukrainians still had a positive attitude toward Russia; by May 2022 that figure was down to 2 percent.

Hail to Putin, destroyer of the Russian world.

Have a great week!



Comments are closed.