Over the past few weeks, I’ve been discussing purpose, and was going to end the series with a summary and some last thoughts. This is not the post I thought I’d be writing.

A week ago, Europe was relatively peaceful. Today a war rages in Ukraine. Men & Women have made heart breaking decisions with some fleeing their homeland to neighbouring countries, while others have taken up arms and decided to fight. Men and women with no training, no experience in using weapons. In fact, nothing more than a passion for their homeland and a willingness to die for it, as surely many will.

The situation is already a tragedy, but there will probably be greater tragedies over the coming days. What these courageous individuals are sharing with us are their values. It’s our values that will ultimately determine who we are and our purpose. Many people in neighbouring countries, in Europe and around the world will find a new or renewed purpose as they make decisions relating to support, humanitarian aid and the inevitable flow of refugees. Others may mistakenly believe it’s nothing to do with them.

This is not just a test for Ukraine whose very survival is at stake, it’s a test for the entire world because how we respond is an illustration of who we are. If anyone is any doubt of the magnitude of the situation, Ukraine is the second biggest country (by area) in Europe, the biggest being Russia. Ukraine shares a border with seven other countries and has a population of over forty-four million people. 

Our purpose, who we are as nations and as individuals will not be defined by names, not by occupations, not by Gross National product, not by wealth, but by our contribution. As individuals, our ability to contribute in a way that has an impact may seem limited, but multiple individual actions add up to something more. We can do something, even if only via charitable donations. 

The leader of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, seems to be stepping up and showing leadership qualities that perhaps even he didn’t know he possessed. Now is a test for the rest of the World’s leaders to help find a solution to halt the aggressors and help avoid what is already a catastrophe becoming an unimaginable tragedy. We can at least post on social media so that young Russians are aware of what’s happening. They may then become part of the voice that could influence their leadership. 

I know what it’s like to feel the world is against me, but I never experienced missiles destroying my village or foreign troops marching through my streets. I am grateful for that. 

We all have unique skills and abilities and must decide what we can do. To the people of Ukraine, I offer my love and support. I know it is woefully inadequate, and I will endeavour to use my skills in a more proactive way over the coming days and weeks. 

Today I feel very sad for humanity. I also feel hope.