An eventful year is coming to an end these days. Twelve months that could not have been more turbulent, twelve months that for many were the purest roller coaster ride of emotions. Since February 24, 2022, the world in Europe has not been the same as it was before. There is war in Ukraine, unleashed by Vladimir Putin and Russia. For over 300 days, attacks have been driven against a free, democratic country whose nation wanted nothing more than peaceful and respectful coexistence. A nation that now has to defend its values, especially its past life and families.
Russia is attacking not only military targets, but the entire infrastructure of the country. Every day people have to die senselessly. Every day there is new suffering because people lose their homes or have to endure for days without electricity and heating. New attacks must be expected every second. Ukrainians are surrounded by constant fear. They will not be able to enjoy a peaceful Christmas as they did a year ago.
Helplessness and disappointment
As an ordinary citizen, one feels powerless, often even disappointed in one’s own country, which could do more for Ukraine. It took lengthy debates before Germany finally delivered the first defensive weapons. It was not until the destruction of the gas pipelines that it became clear how dependent the country had become on Russia for energy in recent decades, and it provided the wake-up call to finally look for alternatives. Although economic sanctions were quickly imposed on the aggressor, not all avenues and means have been exhausted by a long shot. The initial euphoria that the new traffic light government radiated after its inauguration seems to have faded.
As if all that wasn’t upsetting enough, there were a few more buzzwords this year that were a real up-and-down emotionally. There was Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s turnaround, Christian Lindner’s numerous relief packages that won’t fix the problem at its core, but also a soccer World Cup in a country that places no value whatsoever on human rights, or numerous natural disasters that reveal climate change. Then there was a corruption scandal at the highest EU level, which does not reflect well on our values and Western democracies. Our society is characterized by double standards and pure actionism, acting in an unthinking watering-can manner. This must change!
You can make the difference
However, it is often the little things in life that make us and our society better: be it a friendly smile at the supermarket checkout or a heartfelt thank you to the waitress in the pub. More common sense, solidarity and personal responsibility are good for everyone. A community is only as strong as its weakest link. It is no use if everyone is next to himself.
We can at least give the people in Ukraine a brief smile by providing them with a Christmas gift of essential everyday items: Shelf-stable food, medicine, hygiene items and perhaps a bit of Christmas pastry or a cuddly toy for the children. Deutsche Post sends such aid packages free of charge to the war-torn region. In many places, you can also help: In almost every city, collections are being made for Ukraine – power generators, for example, are desperately needed. Of course, you can also help by donating money.
Let’s pay more attention to those who are not lucky enough to be able to live together peacefully and always be supported. Let us take care of those whose shoulders are weaker than ours. If we change, we change everything!
In this sense: Merry Christmas!