To Watch in Sadness and Horror
A New Sense of Worth

Sadness and Horror Equal Dread

Photo by Tina Hartung on Unsplash
Fence proclaiming its stand. Photo by Tina Hartung on Unsplash

The war continues. Watching the news continues. Reading articles and tweets continues. Donating to organizations helping Ukrainian refugees continues. Crying in empathy continues. Being within the fog of dread for what is and what may be continues.

The horror of watching death occur, knowing that more people will die or be injured is an unremitting feeling of sadness and helplessness. But not hopelessness, when seeing bravery, communal and individual. But still, the deep sadness of knowing that death and destruction are so central to what is seen. Why is it always so?

Sitting comfortably at home is a blessing, but to know and not be able to stop it is a different aspect of the horror of war.  

How is this world possible? How is it possible for there to be flooding and drought at the same moment? How are some huddling from the cold while others are harmed by the heat? How is it that some people starve while others, with stocked pantries, have more groceries delivered to their homes? Why is there good and evil, empathy and indifference? It hurts to see that so many people cannot accept people with any difference from what they are. How can I be created in God’s image but not you? Who gives you the right to impose yourself on others? Are war and peace as natural as the seasons? Can we not overcome this aspect of nature as we have used our brains to develop the tools and medicines that improve our lives?

The obscenity of me sitting here watching the sunlight reach out from the dimness of dusk to create a bright day while people in Ukraine will never see the trees, they planted, grow. There should not be guilt in living, a life, a comfortable life.

During my graduate studies in conflict, I came to the understanding that wars and conflicts are based on a person’s desire for power and greed (which is surely a desire for another kind of power). Why do so many of us need to suffer for the grubbiness of people who never have enough, who never see what they have, who will never be satisfied beyond a moment before they desire more?

The war is in Ukraine. There are other wars. There is suffering, more suffering. Will the bully-beasts ever be defeated for long? Long enough to know/care that it is better to grab for less; to see that each life is deserving; to hear the cries of a child, a partner, a parent, and know that it is as important as your rattles of mememememe?  


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