Spring: a time of renewal and growth… or so we thought.

Spring is here for us residing in the northern hemisphere. Plants are budding, leaves are growing, and neighbors are walking their poorly trained muts that they claim are “not aggressive”. Spring is typically a welcoming season here on Earth. It is the season of new beginnings. The air smells sweet and fresh while the sun seems to linger in the sky just a little longer each day. It’s always a beautiful scene. This spring should be more beautiful than the rest after the turmoil and fiascos that have squandered our recent years. Yet, as this spring blooms, an ominous feeling lingers over us all. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels strange.

The snow shrivels away inch by inch as the blanket of winter is pulled away. Used and dirtied masks reveal themselves amongst the standard litter. I am used to seeing empty beverage cans and plastic bags on the side of the road, but the sight of a dingey covid mask lying useless in the ditch is a new sight. Leftovers from a wretched period in world history. In a thousand years, they’ll probably be digging up fossilized masks imprinted in layers of rock and stone like artifacts of an ancient civilization. As if this period hasn’t been documented enough on social media.

Now it’s time for us to move on. From a pestering pandemic into horrific hostilities happening in our Slavic territories. If it isn’t ridiculous, then it is surely rotten. For the first time in human history, the world is watching an active war through live streams on Tik Tok. My only hope is that the general population might now finally see the true ugliness of war. Maybe now, with the insights we all have, we will not tolerate world leaders playing a game of egotistical monopoly while their citizens suffer at the cost of preposterous power. Putin is only the most recent in a long list of vicious villains. Meanwhile, Kim Jung Un is probably taking notes. They say all is fair in love and war. That sounds about as rational as a tweet from Kanye West. None of it is fair, it has never been fair. The people of poverty pay the price for the people of privilege and power. This has been true since the dawn of man. Welcome to the jungle.

As a pseudo-journalist/writer, I should try and write more objectively, avoiding negativity. I can’t do that. As Hunter S. Thompson once said, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right”. I want to journalize truth and human emotion, not fictionalized fractions of reality. I don’t have the time nor lack of self-respect to write the kind of crap flooding our world today. It’s no wonder why nobody reads anymore. It all lacks honesty. I could write like that. I might even get paid for once if I did write like that. My bank account may always lack funds, but I refuse to write anything that doesn’t feel authentic. The day I do that is the day I stop writing.

Back to the topic at hand, times are still quite tough. I can’t predict how this conflict between Russia and Ukraine will end but I can only hope that is quick and as painless as possible. I’d love for Putin to realize that nothing is worth this level of tragedy, but I wouldn’t bet on it. In the meantime, we must all hope and pray for the people of Ukraine. Us Americans tend feel disconnected from the rest of the world as we hunker down in our private homes and binge watch the latest Netflix series. Let us not forget how fortunate we are. The people of Ukraine are no different than us. No one is different. We are all just tiny mammals habiting a giant rock that is hurling through space. Our made-up borders and nationalities are all just sub-categories of one species.

What we need to do right now is support each other. Forget your prejudices, your preconceptions, your biases, and your judgments. We have come to a point where none of us can live up to the standards we try to live by. We are all flawed in many ways. That does not justify hatred or discrimination. The only way this world will find peace is through acceptance. I am not a fan of social media, I find it vapid and hedonistic, but I do see something great within it. It connects us all. We live in a time where every corner of Earth is reachable through the internet. When I learned about the Nazi regime and Hitler’s wrath, I was surprised to learn that most of the world, including German citizens, didn’t know about the concentration camps and the mass exterminating of Jews. Most of that information was learned after the fact. Today we are blessed with technology that can inform us all in real time of events going on anywhere in the world. We can shine a light on injustices happening anywhere and intervene before things get truly ugly. Russian citizens can actively witness the war crimes their government is committing. Evil has nowhere to hide anymore. We can see it, and we can stop it.

All the world’s major powers possess nuclear weapons. The combined effect of these weapons is capable or erasing all life from this planet within a small window of time. The fact that these weapons even exist sickens me to my core. How corrupt must we be that we have a “delete all” button for life on Earth? Are we surprised that all the billionaires are trying to fly to Mars? The rapid advancement of technology has brought us to the brink of mass extinction. It’s up to us to turn this ship around. We have the numbers, we have the methods of communication, and we have the reasons. We all deserve peace. We all deserve love. We all deserve a chance. Together we can turn this world into a united utopia.

The other day while listening to the radio, I heard the song ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ by Billy Joel. A song about the endless conflicts of humanity. The chorus goes: “We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the worlds been turning. We didn’t start the fire. No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it”. Billy Joel may just be a piano man, but his lyrics speak to a level of truth that we need to hear. We have proven we can all start fires, now it’s time we put them out.

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