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  • iaindryden1

For Ukraine

Looking out over the ambulances lined up below, I shiver. Surrounded by the sick, in the hands of caring staff, I still shivered even though the dark clouds only threatened rain, not obliteration from bombs falling from the sky. I shivered again, for Ukraine. In this hospital we ask how anyone could bomb hospitals - look at these vulnerable people, weak, incapacitated, unable to defend themselves. Yet they did in Georgia, Chechnya, Syria, they are doing it now to intimidate ordinary Ukrainians into submission.

Each time we let them; and we keep buying their gas and oil and so they feel free to keep doing it. I cast my eye round the beds in this ward, how lucky to be in such a safe place where our problems are being attended to by experts. A German businessman in a bed opposite raises his fist and calls out, “There is nothing like the NHS!”

We have it due to the vision of Clement Attlee, a remarkable man whose granddaughter is a friend of ours. Atlee, a product of democracy. Today’s bombs threaten democracy and they are dropped by a man threatened by democracy, a megalomaniac who has said many times, “What use the world without Russia!”

I shiver at this threat of Armageddon unleashed if we step in his way. How come such a man has been given such power? But people still want Trump, they voted in Boris, and Modi in India who (alongside Xi in China) has refused to condemn Russia. Why do we let these obsessive types whittle away opposition until everyone around them is a yes mon (my gender inclusive word for man and woman), at the top they are dangerously invincible, but feel insecure. By expanding NATO, we fed that insecurity.

What to do? The doctors, the nurses and the carers are as baffled and as concerned as I am for the future. Not only is Global Warming threatening everything from mice to monkind, but now nuclear obliteration threatens a sixth mass extinction. If only a gas could be invented to render the aggressive sleepy, but then snakes, cats and everything which hunts would starve and the world would be filled with vegetarian creatures. Aggression, domination, is in our nature, even veggi antelope fight for sexual dominance.

Perhaps after such a global catastrophe nature might rewrite itself to be less competitive. And pigs might fly. It is down to us mon monsters to invent checks on super-egotism and this begins within. Few of us here between these hospital sheets are able to rise above our own suffering’s story and show interest in the suffering of our fellow invalids, yet the exceptional staff tending to us can and do, so the rest of us can also step beyond our muddy puddles.

We are on the cusp of a gigantic shift, politically, socially, climatically, environmentally - we need to adjust rapidly to be able to work together without our ego games destroying it all. That starts here beneath these sheets, in my mind, in our minds, where we can develop an empathetic mindset to dispel those dark clouds of insecurity and wither our inner Putins.





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