My name is Candice and I have been living in Sweden for about thirteen years. It is a privilege to live here but my home will always be earth. I believe that we are all connected and it is only through the formation of these vital, human connections that we can hope to save Ukraine and the planet as a whole. Right now Europe is wracked with war and it is devastating and it is terrifying and I, like so many others, feel confused and helpless. On the one hand, it feels like humans have regressed. War is savage. We should know better than to abuse our neighbors, our wild, precious planet, our humanity, our resources, our culture wherein there exists so much creativity, passion and diversity. We can do better and yet here it is, a war in Europe. On the other hand, you have the courage of the Ukrainian people and all those who are willing to fight beside them, whether it is with weapons or words or resources or ideals. I have been impressed with Sweden’s willingness to help other countries in need, particularly in times of crisis and I am proud to live in a country that fights for the welfare of humanity as a whole. I am both an American and a Swedish citizen but first and foremost I am a human being and I know that we cannot live in a world where human beings are divided. In times like this we have to work together, we have to believe that the goodness in humanity is greater than the fear which precipitates hunger and misery.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke. Can it really be for peace that we allow the hunger and the fear of one man (or a group of such individuals) to dominate and dictate our actions? Is it not also fear that silences us and ties our hands together? I am not a proponent of war and I believe that revenge only serves to perpetuate cruelty. We have a right to defend ourselves of course but the goal should always be for the betterment of humankind. I don’t have any solutions unfortunately but I will say that at the end of the day when we are lying in bed, unable to escape ourselves, it is a comfort to know that we have stood for something, that we have believed in something, that we have focused our efforts on love, hope, freedom, creative expression, and peace. Love might not conquer everything but I would rather invest in love, than terror and fear. So keep standing up. Keep raising your voice. In the midst of war be the one that shelters. I can’t speak for every citizen but personally I would rather live in a country governed by compassion. So provide whatever support you can and know that in saving one nation, you save us all.

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