I don’t know anyone in Ukraine. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever had a meaningful conversation with anyone Ukrainian.
But that doesn’t change a thing in my mind. This war affects all of us.
I cannot imagine what it might be like to be suddenly hurled into a war. I’ve thought about it a lot. I love history, probably too much for my own good, so the prospect of war is something that I have spent quite a bit of time dwelling on.
Some of the scariest and most depressing moments of my life have been the countless hours of war books and podcasts I’ve read and listened to.
But I’ve always felt that it was critical for us to know what’s happened in the past in order to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Not that I can do much about it. Having a feeling that Putin was going to invade Ukraine did not empower me to change the course of history in any way.
Being able to read the situation at the moment in a way that’s marginally better than how people with little knowledge about the subject can read it makes me feel a little bit closer to the action, but it’s not empowering me to change the course of history, either.
The truth is that we’re helpless. We can’t go there and fight in the streets. We can’t convince a madman that he’s acting like a madman. History has shown, time and time again, that despots will be despots, and that there is no use in trying to reason with them.
They’ll sacrifice everything, and everyone, around them in order to gain more power. Paranoid people will keep on being paranoid. It’s just the way they are. And this paranoid goon happens to have a million soldiers and a few thousand nukes under his control.
What can I bring to the table to help turn the tide?
Not much, really.
But I can try. And I’m lucky enough to work with a group of people who have decided to do their bit to help in any way possible.
We’re going to help by donating our time. Because what’s the use of refreshing our news apps every ten minutes? What’s the use of spending a couple of hours a day watching the situation unfold without doing anything about it?
For the foreseeable future we’re going to donate an hour of work a day per team member to help causes that help people who are being affected by the war. Some of us have also offered to give more help from their after-work hours, too.
It might not make a massive difference in the long run, but every little bit helps, so if you can, please find some time to help out, too.
Finally, I want to bring something up about which side you’re on.
We called this a Ukrainian crisis because that is what it is. This does not exclude the fact that this is also a Russian Crisis. The Russian people have been living under a despotic dictator for years, and this war is affecting them too.
Our heart goes out to each and every person who’s caught in this senseless war built on the fantasies of one psychopathic megalomaniac.