US AND THEM not US VS THEM: A few lessons from a dog park

What can a dog park teach us about bridging great societal divides? Brilliant talk. I cannot think of a more appropriate time in our lives to hear this message. There is a difference between US AND THEM and US VS THEM. We all can go beyond our own identities and ‘packs’ to find common ground with those we may disagree with on personal, work-related, social and political grounds. We are all humans after all – this human identity is common to us all…

NO to WAR

It is hard to stay silent with the recent events in Ukraine. I’m one of the thousands of Russian-Ukrainians. As a child I used to spend all my summer holidays with my Ukrainian family in the Luhansk Region, which is now in the epicentre of that war. It was such a beautiful place with wonderful people – very caring close-knit community of Ukrainian and Russian coal-miners, working shoulder to shoulder in the deepest and some of the dangerous coal-mines in the world. Amazing men who were going 700-800 meters under the ground to feed their families, always coming home with a big smile and a hug for us, kids! Such a terrible crime against people, such a terrible war…..

Coalminers

This area has never recovered from the 2014 war with sobering pictures of destruction. Here is just one of the images from that time – an airport before and after the 2014 war.

Donetsk Airport before and after the 2014 war

Who could ever imagined that Kharkiv in 2022 would look like London in 1942. Kharkiv is the second-largest city and municipality in Ukraine that I used to travel through when visiting my family in Ukraine in 1980s. Beautiful city with wonderful people – people who have nowhere to run now and are hiding under the ground from shelling.

Kharkiv in 2022

Russians of all genders, ages and walks of life are standing with Ukraine against the war! In all major Russian cities people are protesting the war. The breathtaking bravery of people who know they’ll be arrested and prosecuted for this….

Russian people are protesting the war in Ukraine

NO to WAR!

Invincible love and smile…

“My dear,

In the midst of hate, I found there was,

within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was,

within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was,

within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was,

within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,
Albert Camus”

Never lose that invincible
love and smile…

THE END

When two souls connect…

Love

Love is patient with a life
That brings its share of pain.
We know sometime there is an end
To the most stubborn rain.

We know the sun comes out again
On a world that’s fresh and new,
And all the gifts we freely give
Somewhere, sometime accrue.

We know sometimes we have to wait
For life to come around,
And sometimes that it won’t, but still
There’s some good to be found.

And even when things happen that
Your soul can hardly bear,
Know that I’ll be next to you;
My love is always there.

by Nicholas Gordon
(from http://www.poemsforfree.com )