The Ukraine situation has pushed me into a lot of thought and self reflection as well. There's a lot of overlap with your list. Two things I want to add:

On your final point about forgiveness... I've been thinking about that as well. I've been thinking about Jesus's command to "love your enemy." Wow. What an insane command. I'd be more than happy to put a gun to Putin's head and send him on to the next life. God might even lead someone to do that. But putting aside the reality of the violent end Putin deserves, I still have to deal with the "love your enemy" reality.

Also, on the subject of populist thinking, propaganda, algorithms, powerful elites who control information, etc. etc... I've been thinking a lot about that (Aside1- it also brings me back to the current G.O.P. FUBAR) (Aside2- Bob Welch's new book is a worthy attempt to handle this subject) (Aside 3- I've lost myself a few times in daydreams about locking Tucker in a shed until he is willing to listen to reason) - I digress... Ok, so in regards to the broader situation regarding power structures and the human condition, I want to add this: Culture Matters! Oh my gosh, how many times I have wanted to shout this over the past 6 years?! Policy is not as important as culture. Culture endures for a long, long time. Ask the Greeks. And the Russians have a serious culture problem. It is infuriating to me. Obviously we have the same problem here, but to a lesser degree. We need to guard the portions of our culture that are virtuous. Yegor Gaidar was briefly the Prime Minister of Russia just after the fall of the Soviet Union. He was the architect of the effort to create a new economy in Russia. In his 2006 book, he warned of the temptations of imperial nostalgia for the Soviet Union and added that, "it’s not difficult to convince society that a state that collapsed so suddenly can be just as quickly rebuilt. That’s an illusion, a dangerous one.” He saw this coming.

The Chinese are another example. On a tour of the UofO art museum, I chatted with a student who was guiding visitors through a Mao Zedong exhibit. She shared with me her sense of discouragement at the lack of engagement from the Chinese students who attend classes with her. In her experience, they keep to themselves and refrain from any kind of philosophical/political discussion. In short, they are following the rules their government gave them when they were allowed to travel to the US for school. That's a culture problem.

So what am I going to do about it? Well, the least I can do is to be a critical thinker and to be courageous. I'll see if I can add a little love for my enemies into that.

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